Skip to main content

Full text of "Art in America; a critical and historical sketch"

See other formats





fSm 








^ \ 




■% 



J" ^ 



if y ^ 

0° ^S=&> S Q> 



%f 



% ^ 



L ^ 



cr 



v. 



'9, 



■A 



\\m\ > r \ml 
— v> 'a, W£,a. Wm t^> *k 






"A 



& M 



"4 ' 



^/■) " ■ ; : « p l lr ' ■ &?> <f S'lilflllin I lira™ Vj Wft -^^sSs" 

'* few t I™ *** 




\ ^ #ff| % #- — = ffc % ^ = ^Jpj % ^ 






.A 4- 



O. 



^ V 



'*, 



t <y 



- ^ 



o v 







% 
^ \ 



A 



% # 



A, 



Vi 



A- 



'o, 



; 



^ 






u 



A 



A A- 






% 
^ 

^Mj 




■>, 



^, 






> A ^ 



«f» <j 



A 



' . <V ^SS^V V. VA --_ 






c . 



'** 



• ^ 



<o.. 



^ 




o. 



& 



# 



,^ N ^. 







rP ^s=^ o 



- 



^ 




PORTRAIT OF A LADY. -[JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY. 



J 

£C* AET IN AMEEICA 



A CRITICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCH 



> 



BY 



.-<\: 



S:^G. W. BENJAMIN 

AUTHOR OF "CONTEMPORARY ART IN EUROPE" "WHAT IS ART" &c. 



ILLUSTRATED 



'ecc^h^loc/(/p^ 



tUG 1 3 fc 

HON 




NEW YORK 
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS 

FRANKLIN SQUARE 

1880 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 18Y9, by 

HARPER & BROTHERS, 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 






>r?Al lAus* 



\J& 



ERRATUM. 

The cut on page 28, attributed to Rembrandt Peale, should be credited to 
John T. Peele. 



PREFACE. 



The aim of this book has been to give a historical outline of the 
growth of the arts in America. But while this has been the dominating 
idea in the mind of the writer, criticism has necessarily entered, more or 
less, into the preparation of the work, since only by weighing the differ- 
ences or the comparative merits of those artists who seemed best to illus- 
trate the various phases of American art has it been possible to trace its 
progress from one step to another. 

It is from no lack of appreciation of their talents that the author has 
apparently neglected mention of the American artists resident in foreign 
capitals — like Bridgman, Duveneck, Wight, Neal, Bacon, Benson, Ernest 
Parton, Millet, Whistler, Dana, Blashfield, Miss Gardner, Miss Conant, and 
many others who have done credit to x\merican aesthetic culture. But 
it was necessary to draw the line somewhere ; and to discuss what our 
artists are painting abroad would have at once enlarged the scope of the 
work beyond the limits of the plan adopted. An exception has been 
made in the case of our sculptors, because they have so uniformly lived 
and wrought in Europe, and so large a proportion of them are still resi- 
dent there, that, were we to confine this branch of the subject only to 
the sculptors now actually in America, there would be little left to say 
about their department of our arts. 

The author takes this occasion cordially to thank the artists and ama- 
teurs who have kindly permitted copies of their paintings and drawings 
to be engraved for this volume. 



CONTENTS. 



i. 

Pace 
EARLY AMERICAN ART 13 



II. 
AMERICAN FAINTERS (1828-1878) „ . . . . . . 39 

III. 
AMERICAN PAINTERS (1828-1878) 66 

IV. 

AMERICAN PAINTERS (1828-1878) 97 

V. 

SCULPTURE IN AMERICA 134 

VI. 

PRESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART 164 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Subject. Artist. Page 

Portrait of a Lady . John Singleton Copley . Frontispiece 

Family of Bishop Berkeley John Smybert 16 

Death on the Pale Horse Benjamin West 19 

Death of Montgomery John Trumbull 23 

General Knox Gilbert Stuart 25 

"Beggar's Opera" G. Stuart Newton 27 

"Babes in the Wood" Rembrandt Peale 28 

Fanny Kemble Thomas Stilly . . . . . . . . 29 

Ariadne John Vanderlyn 30 

The Hours E.G. Malbone 32 

Jeremiah Washington Allston 34 

Dying Hercules Samuel F. B. Morse 35 

" Mumble the Peg" Henry Inman 40 

Portrait of Parke Godwin Thomas Le Clear 43 

Portrait of Fletcher Harper C. L. Elliott 45 

An Ideal Head G. A. Baker 48 

The Judgment of Paris Henry Peters Grey 50 

Miranda Daniel Huntington 53 

A Surprise William Sidney Mount .... 55 

Taking the Veil Robert Weir 57 

Desolation. From " The Course of Empire " . . . . Thomas Cole 59 

A Study from Nature A. B. Durand 61 

Noon by the Sea-shore. — Beverly Beach J. F. Kensett 63 

Altorf, Birth-place of William Tell George L. Brown 64 

Brook in the Woods Worthington Whittredye .... 67 

Landscape Composition R.W. Hubbard 70 

"The Vasty Deep" William T Richards 72 

High Torn, Rockland Lake Jasper F. Cropsey 74 

The Parsonage A. F. Bellows 75 

Landscape with Cattle James Hart 77 

Sunset on the Hudson Sandford R. Gijford 80 

A Composition Frederick E. Church 82 

A Winter Scene Louis R. Mignof 84 

Ship of "The Ancient Mariner" James Hamilton, 85 

" Whoo !" . , William H Beard 87 

Lafayette in Prison E. Leutze 89 

Portrait of a Lady William Page 91 

The Refuge Elihu Vedder 93 

Cartoon Sketch : Christ and Nicodemus John Lafarge 95 

View on the Kern River A. Bierstadt 99 

The Yosemite Thomas Hill 100 

The Bathers Thomas Moran 101 

Landscape Jervis M'Entee 104 

County Kerry A. H Wyant 105 

The Adirondacks Homer Martin 107 



10 ILLUSTRATIONS. 

Subject. Artist. Page 

A Landscape J.W. Casilear 109 

Ship Ashore M. F. H. De Haas Ill 

A Foggy Morning W. E. Norton 112 

A Marine Arthur Quartley 114 

Arguing the Question T.W. Wood 116 

The Rose B. F. Mayer. . 118 

Dress Parade • J. G. Brown 120 

A Bed-time Story S. J. Guy 121 

The Mother Eastman Johnson 123 

Sail-boat Winslow Homer 124 

The Scout Wordsworth Thompson . . . .126 

On the Old Sod William Magrath 127 

"A Matin Song" Fidelia Bridges 129 

Study of a Dog Frank Rogers 180 

Lost in the Snow A. F. Tait 132 

Eve before the Fall Hiram Powers 135 

Orpheus Thomas Crawford 137 

Columbus before the Council. From the Bronze Door ) t> 7 7 7 r, ,or> 

- Randolph Rogers 139 

of the Capitol at Washington ) 

The Ghost in "Hamlet" Thomas R. Gould 141 

George Washington J. Q. A. Ward 143 

Medea William Wetmore Story . . . .146 

The Promised Land Franklin Simmons 147 

Latona and her Infants W. H Rinehart 150 

Zenobia Harriet Hosmer 152 

Evening E. D. Palmer 153 

Bust of William Page William R. O' Donovan . . .155 

Abraham Pierson Launt Thompson 157 

The Charity Patient John Rogers 158 

The Whirlwind J. S. Hartley 159 

Adoration of the Cross by Angels. St. Thomas's ) . . „. „ 7 lan 

„. \ Augustus St. Gaudens . . . .160 

Church, New York ) 

Thomas Jefferson's Idea of a Monument 162 

The Mowing Alfred Fredericks 165 

Birds in the Forest Miss Jessie Curtis 169 

Representing the Manner of Peter's Courtship . . Howard Pyle 171 

Some Art Connoisseurs W. Hamilton Gibson 173 

Washington opening the Ball C. S. Reinhart 175 

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 178 

The Astonished Abbe E. A. Abbey 181 

A Child's Portrait B. C. Porter 184 

A Bit of Venice Samuel Colman 185 

The Old Orchard R. Swain Gifford 187 

A Landscape George Inness 188 

La Marguerette — the Daisy William M. Hunt 189 

Moonlight John J. Enneking 191 

Having a Good Time Louis C. Tiffany 192 

Southampton, Long Island C. H. Miller 193 

A Study Frederick Dielman 195 

The Burgomaster H. Muhrman 197 

Burial of the Dead Bird J. Alden Wier 200 

The Apprentice William M. Chase 201 

The Professor Thomas Eakins 204 

The Goose-herd Walter Shirlaw 205 

A Spanish Lady Mary S. Cassatt 208 

Study of a Boy's Head W. Sartain 209 



ART IN AMERICA 



ART IN AMERICA. 



EARLY AMERICAN ART. 

THE art of a nation is the result of centuries of growth ; its crowning 
excellence does not come except when maturity and repose offer the 
occasion for its development. But while, therefore, it is yet too soon to 
look for a great school of art in America, the time has perhaps arrived 
to note some of the preliminary phases of the art which, we have reason 
to hope, is to dawn upon the country before long. 

As the heirs of all the ages, we had a right to expect that our intel- 
lectual activity would demand art expression ; while the first efforts would 
naturally be imitative rather than original. The individuality which finds 
vent in the utterance of truth under new conditions is not fully reached 
until youth gives place to the vigorous self-assertion of a manhood con- 
scious of its resources and power. Such we find to have been the case 
in the rise of the fine arts in this country, which up to this time have been 
rather an echo of the art of the lands from which our ancestors came, 
than distinctively original. Our art has been the result of affectionate 
remembrance of foreign achievement more than of independent obser- 
vation of nature; and while the number of artists has been sufficiently 
large, very few of them stand forth as representatives or types of novel 
methods and ideas ; and those few, coming before their time, have met 
with little response in the community, and their influence has been gener- 
ally local and moderate, leading to the founding of nothing like a school 
except in one or two isolated cases. But many of them, especially in the 
first period of our art, have shared the strong, active character of their time; 



14 ART IN AMERICA. 

and, like the heroes of the Revolution, presented sturdy traits of character. 
And thus, while the society in which they moved was not sufficiently ad- 
vanced to appreciate the quality of their art, they were yet able to stamp 
their names indelibly upon the pages of our history. But within the last 
few years the popular interest in art has grown so rapidly in the country 
— as indicated by the establishment of numerous art schools and acade- 
mies, art galleries, and publications treating exclusively of art subjects, to- 
gether with many other significant proofs of concern in the subject — that 
it seems safe to assume that the first preparatory period of American art, 
so brilliant in many respects, is about closing, and that we are now on the 
threshold of another, although it is only scarcely three centuries since the 
first English colonists landed on our shores. The first professional artist 
of whom there seems to be any record in our colonial history was possessor 
of a title that does not often fall to the lot of the artist : he was a deacon. 
This fact indicates that Deacon Shem Drowne, of Boston town, was not 
only a cunning artificer in metals and wood-carving, as the old chronicles 
speak of him, but also a man addicted to none of the small vices that 
are traditionally connected with the artistic career ; for people were very 
proper in that vicinage in those days of austere virtue and primness, and 
deacons were esteemed the very salt of the earth. 

During the first century of our colonial existence local painters, often 
scarcely deserving the name, are also known to have gained a precarious 
livelihood by taking meagre portraits of the worthies of the period, in 
black and white or in color. We should know this to have been the fact 
by the portraits — quaint, and often rude and awkward — which have come 
down to us, without anything about them to indicate who the artists could 
have been who painted them. Occasionally a suggestion of talent is 
evident in those canvases from which the stiff ruffles and bands of the 
Puritans stare forth at us. Cotton Mather also alludes to a certain artist 
whom he speaks of as a limner. But in those times there was, however, 
at best no art in this country, except what was brought over occasionally 
in the form of family portraits, painted by Vandyck, Rembrandt, Lely, or 
Kneller. These precious heirlooms, scarcely appreciated by the stern the- 
ologians of the time, were, however, not without value in advancing the 
cause of civilization among the wilds of the Western world. Uncon- 
sciously the minds of coming generations were influenced and moulded 
by these reminders of the great art of other lands and ages. No human 



EAELY AMERICAN ART. 15 

effort is wasted; somewhere, at some time, it appears, as the seed sown in 
October comes forth anew in April, quickened into other forms, to sustain 
life under fresh conditions. 

The first painter in America of any decided ability whose name has 
survived to this day was John Watson, who executed portraits in Phila- 
delphia in 1715. He was a Scotchman. It is to another Scotchman, who 
married and identified himself with the rising fortunes of the colonies, 
that we are perhaps able to assign the first distinct and decided art im- 
pulse in this country. And for this we are directly indebted to Bishop 
Berkeley, whose sagacious eye penetrated so far through the mists of 
futurity, and realized the coming greatness of the land. 

Berkeley is associated with the literature and arts of America in sev- 
eral ways. He aided the advance of letters by a grant of books to Yale 
College, and by founding the nucleus of what later became the Eedwood 
Library at Newport; thus indirectly suggesting architectural beauty to a 
people without examples of it, for in 1750 a building was erected for 
the library that sprang from his benefactions. The design was obtained 
from Yanbrngh, one of the greatest architects of modern times ; and al- 
though the little library is constructed only of wood and mortar, its plan 
is so pleasing, tasteful, and harmonious, that it long remained the most 
graceful structure in the colonies ; and even at this day is scarcely equal- 
led on the continent as a work of art by many far more costly and 
ambitious constructions after the Renaissance order. And, finally, we 
owe to Bishop Berkeley the most notable impulse which the dawning arts 
received in this country when he induced John Smybert, the Scotchman, 
to leave London in 1725 and settle in Boston, where he had the good fort- 
une to marry a rich widow, and lived prosperous and contented until his 
death, in 175L Smybert was not a great painter. If he had remained in 
Europe his position never would have been more than respectable, even at 
an age when the arts were at a low ebb. But he is entitled to our grat- 
itude for perpetuating for us the lineaments of many worthies of the 
period, and for the undoubted impetus his example gave to the artists who 
• were about to come on the scene and assert the right of the Xew World to 
exercise its energies in the encouragement of the fine arts. It is by an ap- 
parently unimportant incident that the influence of Smybert to our early 
art is most vividly illustrated. He brought with him to America an 
excellent copy of a Yandyck, executed by himself; and several of our ar- 



16 



ART IN AMERICA. 



tiste, including Allston, acknowledged that a sight of this copy affected 
them like an inspiration. The most important work of Smybert in this 
country is a group representing the family of Bishop Berkeley, now in the 
art gallery at New Haven. A flock of foreign portrait-painters, following 
the example of Smybert, now came over to this country, and rendered 
good service in perpetuating the faces of the notable characters and beau- 
ties of the time; but none of them were of special moment, excepting, 
perhaps, Blackburn and Alexander. But their labor bore fruit in pre- 
paring the way for the successes of Copley. The first native American 




painter of merit of whom there is any authentic record was Robert Feke, 
who was of Quaker descent, and settled in Newport, where portraits of his 
are still to be seen, notably that of the beautiful wife of Governor Wanton, 
which is preserved in the Redwood Library. What little art-education he 
received resulted from his being taken prisoner at sea and carried to Spain, 
where he contrived to acquire a few hints in the use of pigments. Feke 
was a man of undoubted ability ; and the same may be said of Matthew 
Pratt, of Philadelphia, who was born in 1734, in respect of age antedating 



EARLY AMERICAN ART. IT 

both Copley and West, although not known until after they had acquired 
fame, because for many years he contented himself with the painting oi 
signs and house decorations. 

But the latent aesthetic capacity of the colonies displayed itself sud- 
denly when John Singleton Copley, at the early age of seventeen, after 
only the most rudimentary instruction, adopted art as a profession. But, 
although a professional and successful artist at so early an age. Copley 
seems to have been preceded in assuming the calling of artist by a Quaker 
lad of Pennsylvania, one year his junior, but evincing a turn for art at an 
earlier age, when hardly out of the cradle. 

The birth of a national art has scarcely ever been more affecting or 
remarkable than that recorded in the first efforts of Benjamin West. lie 
was born at Springfield, Pennsylvania, in 173S, a year after Copley. The 
scientist of the future may perhaps show us that it was something more 
than a coincidence that the six leading painters of the first period of 
-American art came in pairs: Copley and West in 1737 and 1738; Stuart 
and Trumbull were born in 1750; Vanderlyn arrived in 1776; and All- 
ston followed only three years later. 

The descendants of the iconoclasts who had beaten down statues and 
burned masterpieces of art, who had cropped their hair and passed sumpt- 
uary laws to fulfil the dictates of their creed, and had sought a wilderness 
across the seas where they could maintain their rigid doctrines unmolested, 
were now about to vindicate the character of their fathers. They were 
now to prove that the love of beauty is universal and unquenchable, and 
that sooner or later every people, kindred, and tongue seeks to utter its 
aspirations after the ideal good by art forms and methods ; and that the 
sternness of the Puritans had been really directed, not so much against art 
and beauty legitimately employed, as against the abuse of the purest and 
noblest emotions of the soul by a debasing art. 

As if to emphasize the truth of these observations, as well as of the 
famous prophecy of Bishop Berkeley, the artist to whom American art 
owes its rise, and for many years its greatest source of encouragement, 
was named West, and was of Quaker lineage. Such was the rude condi- 
tion of the arts in the neighborhood at that time that the first initiation of 
West into art was as simple as that of Giotto. At nine years of age he 
drew hairs from a cat's tail and made himself a brush. Colors he obtain- 
ed by grinding charcoal and chalk, and crushing the red blood out from 

2 



18 ART IN AMERICA. 

the blackberry. His mother's laundry furnished him with indigo, and the 
friendly Indians who came to his father's house gave him of the red and 
yellow earths with which they daubed their faces. With such rude mate- 
rials the lad painted a child sleeping in its cradle; and in that first effort 
of precocious genius executed certain touches which he never surpassed, as 
he affirmed long after, when at the zenith of his remarkable career. 

How, from such primitive efforts, the Quaker youth gradually worked 
into local fame, went to Italy and acquired position there, and then settled 
in England, became the favorite protege, of the king for forty years, and 
the President of the National Academy of Great Britain — these are all 
matters of history, and, as West never forgot his love for his native land, 
entitle him to the respectful remembrance not only of artists, but of all his 
countrymen. American art has every reason, also, to cherish his mem- 
ory with profound gratitude, for no painter ever conducted himself with 
greater kindness and generosity to the rising, struggling artists of his na- 
tive land. No sooner did our early painters reach London but they resort- 
ed, for aid and guidance, to West, and found in him a friend who lent 
them his powerful influence without grudging, or allowed them to set up 
their easels in his studio, and gave them all the instruction in his power. 
Trumbull, Stuart, Dnnlap, and many others, long after they had forgotten 
the natural foibles of West, had reason to remember how great had been 
the services he had rendered to the aspiring artists of his transatlantic 
home. 

Since the death of West — whom we must consider one of the greatest 
men our country has produced — it has become the fashion to decry his art 
and belittle his character. This seems to be a mistake which reflects 
discredit upon his detractors. Men should be judged not absolutely, but 
relatively ; not compared with perfection, but with their contemporaries 
and their opportunities. In estimating men of the past, also, we need to 
put ourselves in their places, rather than to regard them by the standard 
of the age in which we live. In no pursuit are men more likely to be 
misjudged than in art; for artists are liable to be guided by impulse 
rather than judgment, and the very vehemence of their likes and dislikes 
renders their opinions intense rather than broad and charitable. Benja- 
min West appears to have been born with great natural powers, which 
matured rapidly, and early ceased to develop in excellence proportionate 
to his extraordinary industry and fidelity to art. 



EARLY AMERICAN ART. 



19 



But while a general evenness of quality rather than striking excellence 
in any particular works was the characteristic of the art of West, together 
with a certain brick -red tone in his colors not always agreeable, yet a 
share of genius must be granted to the artist who painted the "Departure 




"death on the pale horse." — [benjamin west.] 

of Eegulus," " Death on the Pale Horse," and " The Death of Wolfe." 
It unquestionably implied daring and consciousness of power to brave the 
opposition of contemporary opinions and abandon classic costume in his- 
torical compositions as he did; to win to his side the judgment of Sir 
Joshua Reynolds, and create a revolution in certain phases of art. Not- 
withstanding this, however, West was emphatically a man of his time, 
moulded by it rather than forming it, and inclined to conventionalism. 
When he entered the arena, art was in a depressed condition both in Italy. 
where he studied, and in England. But while Reynolds and Gainsbor- 
ough gave a fresh impulse to art, West's genius, ripening precociously, 
early became incapable of achieving further progress. 

West established himself as a portrait -painter at the age of fifteen: 
and in the following year — 1755 — Copley also engaged in the same pur- 
suit, when only seventeen. The former lived to be seventy-nine ; the latter 
was seventy-eight at his death. The art-life of Copley must be considered 
the most indigenous and strictly American of the two. Although receiv- 



20 ART IN AMERICA. 

ing some early instruction from his step -father, Pelham, and enjoying 
opportunities denied to West, of studying portraits by foreign artists, yet 
Copley's advantages were excessively meagre; and whatever successes he 
achieved with his brush, until he finally settled in England at the age of 
thirty-nine, were entirely his own, and can be proudly included among the 
most valued treasures of our native art. So highly were the abilities of 
Copley esteemed in his day, that years before he crossed the Atlantic his 
reputation had preceded him, and assured him ready patronage in London. 
It is said that Copley was a very slow and laborious worker. The 
elaboration he gave to the details of costume doubtless required time. 
But if the popular opinion was correct, we must assume that many of the 
paintings now reputed to be by his hand are spurious. It is a common 
saying that a Copley in a New England family is almost' equivalent to a 
title of nobility; and this very fact would lead many to attribute to him. 
family portraits by forgotten artists, who had, perhaps, caught the trick 
of his style. But there yet remain enough well authenticated portraits 
by this great painter, in excellent preservation, to render the study of his 
works one of great interest to the art student. There is no mistaking the 
handling of Copley. Self-taught, his merits and defects are entirely his 
own. His style was open to the charge of excessive dryness; the outlines 
are sometimes hard, and the figures stiff almost to ungracefulness. The 
last fault was, however, less noticeable in the formal, stately characters 
and costumes of the time than it would be under different conditions. 
In Copley's best compositions these errors are scarcely perceptible. He 
was far superior to West as a colorist, and was especially felicitous in 
catching the expression of the eye, and reproducing the elegant dress of 
the period ; while we have had no artist who has excelled him in perceiv- 
ing and interpreting the individuality and character of the hand. A very 
fine example of his skill in this respect is seen in the admirable portrait 
of Mrs. Relief Gill, taken when she was eighty years old. Gilbert Stuart 
remarked of the hand in the portrait of Colonel Epes Sargent, "Prick that 
hand, and blood will spurt out." It is indeed a masterpiece. No painter 
was ever more in sympathy with his age than Copley; and thus, when we 
look at the admirable portraits in which his genius commemorated the 
commanding characters of those colonial days, in their brilliant and mas- 
sive uniforms, their brocades and embroidered velvets, and choice laces and 
scarfs, the imagination is carried back to the past with irresistible force. 



EARLY AMERICAN ART. 21 

while, at the same time, we are astonished at the ability which, with bo 
little training', could give immortality both to his contemporaries and his 
own pencil. 

While the fame of Copley will ultimately rest on the masterly portrait- 
which he bequeathed to posterity, yet it will not be forgotten that he was 
one of the ablest historical painters of his time. The compositions entitled 
the " Boy and the Squirrel," painted in Boston, the " Death of Major Pier- 
son," and the "Death of Chatham," will contribute for ages to the fame 
of one of the most important American artists of the last century. 

Charles Wilson Peale, the next artist of reputation in the colonies, 
owes his celebrity partly to accidental circumstances. Of course a certain 
degree of ability is implied in order that one may know how to turn the 
winds of fortune to the best account when they veer in his favor. But 
in some cases, as with Copley and West, man seems to wrest fate to his 
advantage; while in others she appears actually to throw herself in his 
way, and offer him opportunities denied to others. At any rate, it seems 
no injustice to ascribe the continued fame of Charles Wilson Peale to the 
fact that he was enabled to associate his art with the name of Washington : 
and that his son, Rembrandt, by also following art pursuits, was able to 
emphasize the fame of the family name. Peale the elder was not a spe- 
cialist; he was rather, like so many born in America, gifted with a general 
versatility that enabled him to succeed moderately well in "whatever he 
undertook, without achieving the highest excellence in any department. 
Inclining alternately to science and mechanics, he finally drifted into art. 
went over to England and studied with West, and returned to America in 
time to enter the army and rise to the rank of colonel. His versatile turn 
of mind is well illustrated by one who says that "he sawed his own ivory 
for his miniatures, moulded the glasses, and made the shagreen cases." 

It was the good fortune of Peale to paint several excellent portraits of 
Washington, representing him during the military part of his career, both 
before and during the Revolution. Lacking many of the qualities of 
good art, these portraits are yet faithful and characteristic likenesses of 
the Father of his Country, and as such are of great interest and value. 

It is to another Revolutionary soldier of superior natural ability. Col- 
onel John Trumbull, that the country is indebted for a proof of the na- 
tional turn for the fine arts. The son of Jonathan Trumbull. Colonial 
Governor of Connecticut, he received a classical education at Harvard 



22 ART IN AMERICA. 

University. Bat here, again, observe the far-reaching influence of one act. 
That copy, already alluded to, which was executed by Smybert after a 
work of Vandyck — the great painter who was welcomed to the banquet- 
ing halls of merry England by Charles I. and Henrietta Maria — was 
again to bear fruit. It inspired the genius of Trumbull with a passion 
for color while yet in his youth, and ultimately led to his becoming a 
great historical painter. 

But first he had to undergo the discipline of war, which gave him that 
experimental knowledge of which he afterward made such good use. Of a 
high spirit and proud, irascible temper, Trumbull served with distinction ; 
first as aid to Washington, then as major at the storming of the works 
of Burgoyne at Saratoga; and he had reached a colonelcy, when he threw 
up his commission and went over to England, and became a. student of 
West, whose style is perceptible in many of the works of the younger artist. 

If inequality is one sign of genius, then Trumbull possessed it to a 
marked degree. The difference in merit between his best paintings, which 
were chiefly composed in England, and those he executed in this country, 
in the later years of his life, is remarkable. This probably was due in 
part to the lack of any appreciable art influences or patronage in his own 
country to stimulate the artistic afflatus. The talents of Trumbull were 
conspicuous in portraiture and historical painting. The energy of his nat- 
ure is illustrated in such powerful portraits as those of Washington and 
Hamilton. Deficient in drawing, and unlike in details of feature, they are 
life-like in their general resemblance, and seem to thrill with the spirit of 
the original. We see before ns the heroes who conducted the struggling 
colonies successfully to military independence and political freedom. 
Trumbull's miniatures in oil of many of the men who were prominent in 
the Revolution are also very spirited and characteristic, and of inestima- 
ble historic value. He was less successful in the representation of femi- 
nine beauty. His talents moved within a limited range, but within that 
narrow circle displayed certain excellences quite rare in the Anglo-Saxon 
art of that period, exhibiting a correct feeling for color, keen perception 
of character, and great force of expression. But let him stray beyond the 
compass of his powers, as in the representation of woman, and his coloring 
becomes unnatural and his drawing inexpressive. 

The art of this great painter, for so we must call him in view of some 
of his works, culminated in the historical compositions entitled "The Sign- 



EARLY AMERICAN ART. 



ing of the Declaration of Independence," "The Siege of Gibraltar," and 
the immortal compositions representing the "Death of Montgomery"' and 
the "Battle of Bunker Hill." The last two were not surpassed by any 
similar works in the last century, and thus far stand alone in American 
historical painting. 

Cabinet in size, they combine breadth and detail to an unusual degree. 
The faces are in miniature, in many cases portraits from life. They could 
be cut out and framed as portraits; eacli also is stamped with the individ- 
ual passions of that terrible hour — hate, exultation, pain, courage, sorrow, 
despair. And yet with all this truth of detail the general spirit and effort 




DEATH OF MONTGOMERY. — [JOHN TRUMBULL.] 

of the scene is preserved. The onward movement, the rush, the onset of 
war, the harmony of lines, the massing of chiaro-oscuro, the brilliance and 
truth of color, are all there. One first gazes astonished at the skill of the 
artist, and ends by feeling his heart stirred and his emotions shaken as the 
leaves of the forest arc blown by the winds of October, and his sympa- 
thies carried away by the grandeur and the terror of battle. Yes. when 
John Trumbull painted those two pictures, he was inspired by the fires of 



2tt ART IN AMERICA. 

genius for once in his life. His later historical works are so inferior in all 
respects as scarcely to seem to be by the same hand. 

Trumbull lived to see a taste for the arts growing up among his fellow- 
countrymen, and the awakening of the first feeble attempts to furnish" art 
instruction in his native land to the artists of the future. He was Presi- 
dent of the Academy of Fine Arts, of which he was one of the founders. 

In the same year with Trumbull was born the greatest colorist and 
portrait-painter we have seen on this side of the Atlantic, Gilbert Stuart. 
The town of xsarragansett, in the little State of Rhode Island, was the birth- 
place of this painter, who came of Scotch and Welsh descent, an alliance 
of blood whose individual traits were well illustrated in the life and char- 
acter of the painter. 

Fortune was becoming a little kinder to our artists. Stuart's dawning 
genius was directed at Newport by Cosmo Alexander, a Scotch portrait- 
painter of some merit, who took his pupil to Scotland and placed him in 
charge of Sir George Chambers. After various vicissitudes, comprising, as 
with so many of our early painters, an art apprenticeship in the studio of 
West, the young American artist settled for awhile abroad, and acquired 
such repute that he rivalled Sir Joshua Reynolds in the popular esteem : 
his brush was in demand by the first in the land ; and the unfortunate 
Louis XVI. was included among his sitters. After this, in 1793, Stuart 
returned to America, painted the portraits of the leading citizens in our 
chief cities, and finally settled in Boston. The most important works he 
executed in this country were his well-known portraits of Washington, in- 
cluding the famous full-length painting, which represents the great man, 
not. in the prime of his active days, as represented by Peale and Trumbull, 
but when, crowned with glory and honor in the majesty of a serene old 
age, he was approaching the sunset of life. 

The character of Stuart was one of marked peculiarities, and offers 
points of interest scarcely equalled by that of any other American artist. 
The canny shrewdness and penetrating perception of the Scotchman was 
mellowed almost to the point of inconsistency by the warm and supple 
traits of his Welsh ancestry. An admirable story-teller himself, he in turn 
gave rise, by his oddities, to many racy anecdotes, some of which have 
been treasured up and well told by Dunlap, who, although inferior as a 
painter, deserves to be cordially remembered for his discursive but valua- 
ble book on early American painting. 



EARLY AMERICAN ART. 



20 



As regards the art of Stuart, it can be safely affirmed that America 
has produced no painter who has been more unmistakably entitled to rank 
among men of genius as distinguished from those of talent. We assume 




GENERAL KNOX. [GILBERT STUART.] 

that the difference between the two is not one of degree, but of kind. In 
the intellectual progress of the world the first leads, the other follows. 
One may have great talents, and yet really not enrich the world with a 
single new idea. He simply assents to the accepted, and lends it the aid 
of his powers. But genius, not content with things as they are. either 
gives us new truths or old truths in a new form. The greatest minds — 
Csesar, Shakspeare, Goethe, Franklin — present us with a just combination 
of genius and talent: they both create and organize. Now, one may have 



26 ART IN AMERICA. 

great or little genius, but so far as he tells us something: worth knowing? in 
his own way, it is genius as distinguished from talent. 
: And this is why we say that Stuart had genius. He followed no 
beaten track, he gave in his allegiance to no canons of the schools. His 
eagle eye pierced the secrets of nature according to no prescribed rules. 
Not satisfied with surfaces or accessories, he gave us character as well. 
Nor did lie rest here. In the technical requirements of his art he stands 
original and alone. That seemingly hard, practical Scotch nature of his 
was yet attuned like a delicate chord to the melody of color. Few more 
than he have felt the subtle relation between sound and color — for he was 
also a musician. In the handling of pigments, again, he stands pre-emi- 
nent among the artists of his generation. Why is it that his colors are as 
brilliant, as pure, us forcible, as harmonious, today as when he laid them 
on the canvas nearly a century ago? If you carefully examine his pict- 
ures you shall see one cause of the result explained. He had such con- 
fidence in his powers, and such technical mastery, that he needed not 
to experiment with treacherous vehicles; and, rarely mixing tints on the 
palette, laid pure blues, reds, or yellows directly on the canvas, and slight- 
ly dragged them together. Thus he was able to render the stippled, mot- 
tled semblance of color as it actually appears on the skin ; to suggest, 
also, the prismatic effect which all objects have in nature; and, at the 
same time, by keeping the colors apart, to insure their permanence. 
Stuart generally painted thinly, on large-grained canvas, which gave the 
picture the softness of atmosphere. But, sometimes, as in the case of the 
powerful portrait of General Knox, he loaded his colors. But even in 
that work he did not depart from his usual practice in rendering the 
flesh tints. 

It has been alleged by some that Stuart was unable to do justice to the 
delicate beauty of woman, especially the refined type which is character- 
istic of the United States. He may have more often failed in this regard 
than in, other efforts; but the force of the accusation disappears when one 
observes the extraordinary loveliness of such portraits as that of Mrs. For- 
rester, the sister of Judge Story, at Salem. But, indeed, it seemed to make 
little difference to him who the sitter happened to be. He entered into the 
nature of the individual, grasped the salient traits of his character, and, 
whether it was a seaman or a statesman, a triumphant general or a reigning 
belle, his unerring eye and his matchless brush rendered justice to them all. 



EARLY AMERICAN ART. 



27 



Gilbert Stuart Newton, the nephew of Stuart, is a painter well known 
in England, where he early established himself; and, having been born at 
Halifax, and always remained a British subject, he more properly belongs 
to foreign art. But his education was gained in the studio of his uncle in 
Boston, and his style shows unmistakable traces of the teacher's methods. 
Newton executed some good portraits before abandoning his native land, 
including one of John Adams, which is in the Massachusetts Historical 
Society. lie is known abroad chiefly as a genre painter of semi-literary 
compositions. 

James Frothingham was also a pupil, and in some degree an imitator, 
of Stuart, who possessed unusual ability in portraiture, but it was confined 
to the painting of the head. Whether from the lack of early advantages 
— which was so remarkable that he had not even seen a palette when, self- 




" beggar's opera 



^EiSS-^S^^ 



-[G. STUART NEWTON.] 

taught, he was able to execute a very tolerable likeness — or because of 
natural limitation of power, Frothingham's talent seemed to stop with the 
neck of the sitter. The face would perhaps be reproduced with a force, 
a beauty of color, and a truth of character that oftentimes suggested the 



28 



ART IX AMERICA. 



art of Stuart; while the hands or shoulders were almost ludicrously out 
of drawing and proportion. 

Besides Frothingham, there were a number of American painters of 
celebrity, contemporaries of Stuart, but of unequal merit. Colonel Sar- 
gent acquired a repute in his time which it is difficult to understand at 
present. lie seems to have been more of an amateur than a professional 




" BABES IN THE WOOD." [REMBRANDT PEALE.] 

artist. His ablest work is the "Landing of the Pilgrims," of which a 
copy is preserved at Plymouth. Rembrandt Peale obtained a permanent 
reputation for his very able and truthful portrait of "Washington. He be- 
stowed upon it the best efforts of his mature years, and it received the 
compliment of being purchased by Congress for $2000 — a large sum for 
an American painting in those days, when the purchasing power of money 
was greater than it is now. His " Court of Death " is a vast composition, 
that must candidly be considered more ambitious than successful. In 
such works as the "Babes in the "Wood," Peale seems to foreshadow the 
genre art which has been so long coming to us. John Wesley Jarvis, a 
native of England, also enjoyed at one time much popularity as a portrait- 
painter, lie was possessed of great versatility; was eccentric; a ban vi- 
vants and excelled at telling a story. It is melancholy to record that, 
after many vicissitudes, he ended his days in poverty. 

Thomas Sully was also a native of England, who came to this country 
in childhood, and lived to such a great age that it is difficult to realize 
that lie was the contemporary of Trumbull and Stuart. Sully had great 



EARLY AMERICAN ART. 



29 



refinement of feeling, and reminds us sometimes of Sir Thomas Lawrence. 
This is shown in a certain favorite ideal head of a maiden which he repro- 
duced in various compositions. One often recognizes it in his works. His 
portraits are also pleasing; but in the treatment of a masculine likeness 
the feebleness of his style and its lack of originality or strength are too of- 
ten apparent. John Naegle, of Philadelphia, was a pupil of Sully, but first 
began his art career as apprentice to a coach-painter. Like many of our 
artists of that time, he tried his hand at a portrait of Washington ; but he 




■■.'■■■ " :■■ 

Bill 







.5-^Qp* 








.^'•|> 






ImM 


- 


; '■ 




FANNY KIMBLE. [THOMAS SULLY.] 



Mnun 



will be longest and best remembered by his vivid and characteristic paint- 
ing of Patrick Lyon, the blacksmith, at his forge. This picture now hangs 
in the elegant gallery of the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, where 
several of the masterpieces of our early painters may be seen hanging 
in company with it, among them West's "Christ Rejected," Yanderlyn's 
"Ariadne," and Allston's "Dead Man Restored to Life." 

Born the year of the Declaration of Independence, John Yanderlyn. 
like most of the leading artists of this period of whom we are writing. 
lived to old age. His days were filled with hardships and vicissitudes: 



30 ART IN AMERICA. 

and, unless he has since become aware of the fame lie left behind, he was 
one of many to whom life has been a very questionable boon. 

Vanderlyn was a farmer's boy on the Hudson River. It was one of 
those curious incidents by which Destiny sometimes makes us think there 




ARIADXE. [JOHN YAXDERLYN.] 

may be, after all, something more than blind action in her ways, that 
Aaron Burr, passing by his father's house, saw some rude sketches of the 
rustic lad with that keen eye of his. Burr discerned in them signs of 
promise, and invited him to come to Xew York. When Vanderlyn ar- 
rived Burr treated him kindly. Eventually the painter made a portrait 
of Theodosia, the beautiful and ill-fated daughter of his benefactor; and 
when Burr was under a cloud and found himself destitute in Europe, it 
was Vanderlyn who received and gave him shelter. 

Much of the art-life of this painter was passed at Rome and in Paris. 
His varied fortunes, and the constant adversity that baffled him at every 
step, obliged him to resort to many a pitiful shift to keep soul and body 
together. It is owing to this cause that he so rarely found opportunity to 
do justice to the undoubted ability he possessed. 



EARLY AMERICAN ART. 31 

But Yanderlyn left at least two important creations, marked by gen- 
nine artistic feeling and beauty, that will long entitle him to a favorable 
position among American painters. " Marius Among the Ruins of Car- 
thage" I have never seen, and can only speak of it by report; but that it 
is a work deserving to rank high in the art of the time seems to be proven 
not only by the applause it received at Rome, but also by the fact that it 
carried off the gold medal at the Salon in Paris. Such is the irony of fate 
that the artist was twice forced to pawn this medal. The second time he 
was unable to redeem it. 

The "Ariadne'" has unfortunately begun to show signs of age, and the 
browns into which the flesh tints are painted are commencing to discolor 
the delicate grays. An oil-painting, if properly executed, should hold its 
qualities for a longer time; but unhappily the works of too many good 
artists are affected in the same way. The "Ariadne" is, however, a noble 
composition, quite in classic style ; and if not strikingly original, is a most 
creditable work for the early art of a young people. 

Newport, Rhode Island's charming little city by the sea, once a thriv- 
ing commercial centre, but now a favorite resort of culture and gayety and 
wealth, but always opulent in delightful Colonial and Revolutionary asso- 
ciations, and doubly attractive for the artistic memories that cling to it, and 
the treasures of our art which it contains— this was the birthplace of Ed- 
ward G. Malbone, who, after a successful art-life in his native town and 
at Charleston, died at Newport, in 1807, at the early age of thirty-two. 
Miniature-painting was a favorite pursuit of our early artists. Some of 
our best portraits have been done by that means ; but among all who have 
followed it in the United States none have excelled Malbone, although 
some, like John Fraser, of South Carolina, have been very clever at it. 
He succeeded in giving character to his faces to a degree unusual in min- 
iature ; while the coloring was rendered at once with remarkable delicacy, 
purity, and fidelity. His best works are probably the likeness of Ray 
Green, and the exquisitely beautiful group called the " Hours," which is 
carefully preserved in the Athenaeum at Providence. 

With the general public the name of no American artist of that time 
is probably more widely known than that of Washington Allston. He 
owes this in part, doubtless, to the fact that as a writer he also became 
identified with the literary circle at that time prominent in Eastern Massa- 
chusetts. He was born in 1779, at Waccamaw, South Carolina. Sent at 



32 



ART IX AMERICA. 




" THE HOURS 



-[K. Gr. MALBOXE.] ORIGINAL SIZE. 



seven years of age to Newport, both for health and instruction, he lived 
there ten years; and very likely associated with Malbone, and perhaps met 
Stuart there. 

Subsequently Allston visited Italy, and then settled in London, where 
his talents received snch ample recognition as to gain him the position of 
Academician. The mistake of his art-life — although it was perhaps ad- 
vantageous to his fame at home — was probably his return to the United 
States while yet in his prime. The absence of influences encouraging to 
art growth, and of that sympathy and patronage so essential to a sensitive 



EARLY AMERICAN ART. 33 

nature like that of Allston's, had a blighting effect on his faculties; and 
the many years he passed in Boston were years of aspiration rather than 
achievement. Aliston has suffered from two causes. Overrated as an ar- 
tist in his clay, his reputation is now endangered from a tendency to award 
him less than justice. The latter may be due in part to the fact that Ali- 
ston himself adopted a course of action that tended to repress rather than 
develop his art powers. In his desire to give intellectual and moral value 
and permanent dignity to his productions, and in his aversion to sensation- 
alism in art, he treated his subjects with a deliberate severity which takes 
away from them all the feeling of spontaneity which is so delightful and 
important in works of the imagination. If his genius had been of the 
high order claimed by some, such a result would have been impossible. 
The emotional element would have sometimes asserted itself, and given 
to his finished works that warmth and attraction the lack of which, while 
they are intellectually interesting and worthy of great respect, prevents 
them from inspiring and winning our hearts, and has impaired the influ- 
ence they might have had in advancing the progress of art in America. 

That Aliston might have produced paintings of more absolute power, 
seems evident from his numerous crayon sketches and studies for paint- 
ings, which are full of fire, energy, and beauty, delicate fancy, and creative 
power. One cannot wholly understand Allston's ability until he has seen 
those studies; and it cannot be too much regretted that he did not allow a 
freer rein to his brush when composing the works upon which he desired 
to establish his fame. When he did so far forget himself, we get a glimpse 
of the fervor and grandeur of the imagination that burned in that brain, 
whose thoughts were greater than its capacity for expression. It must 
also be granted that the works of Aliston have the quality peculiar to the 
productions of original minds: it is not until they have been seen repeat- 
edly that they reveal all that is in them. "Uriel in the Sun," "Jeremiah/' 
and " The Dead Man Restored to Life," are probably the best of the fin- 
ished works by which the solemn, mysterious, and impressive imagination 
of Aliston can be best estimated. Without giving us new revelations re- 
garding the secrets of color, as he was rather an imitator of the Venetian 
school than an originator, Aliston can be justly considered one of the most 
agreeable colorists America lias produced. 

Few of those who recognize the late Samuel F. B. Morse as the in- 
ventor of our telegraphic system are aware that in early life he was an 

3 



34 



ART IN AMERICA. 




"JEREMIAH." [WASHINGTON ALLSTON.J 



artist, and gave evidence of succeeding both in sculpture and painting. 
Although his preference was for the latter, we are inclined to think that 
he was best fitted to be a sculptor. He became the pupil of Allston in 
London, and modelled at that time a statue called the " Dying Hercules," 
which won the prize of a gold medal offered by the Adelphi Society of 
Arts for the best single figure. From that statue he afterward composed 
a painting of the same subject, which is now in Xew Haven, a work of 
unquestioned power, showing thorough anatomical knowledge and a erea- 




; DYING HERCULES." [SAMUEL F. B. MOUSE.] 



EARLY AMERICAN ART. 37 

tive imagination. But, while there was reason to predict an interesting art 
career for the young American, circumstances beyond his control drifted 
him away from the chosen pursuit of his youth, and his fame and fortune 
were eventually achieved in the paths of science. It is interesting in this 
connection to read the words which Morse, suffering from the pangs of 
disappointment, wrote to one who asked his advice about becoming a 
painter: "My young friend, if you have determined to try the life of an 
artist, I wish you all success ; but as you have asked my honest opinion, I 
must say that, if you can find employment in any other calling, I advise 
3'ou to let painting alone. I have known so many young men — some of 
them of decided talent, too — who, after repeated trials and failures, be- 
came discouraged, gave up further effort, and went to ruin." Notwith- 
standing that such were his views when he abandoned art, did not Morse, 
in the prosperous hours of his life, sometimes look back to his early 
art with a pang of regret ? But while he continued in the profession 
of art, his activity was such that the National Academy of Design owes 
its origin to him, and with him closed the first period of art in the United 
States. 

We see that this division of our pictorial art — with the exception of 
Thomas Birch, of Philadelphia, a marine painter of some repute, and a 
few others of less note — was devoted to the figure ; and, if sometimes fee- 
ble in result, was inspired by lofty motives. In historical art and portrait- 
ure it was, if not strictly original, yet often very able, and fairly main- 
tained itself on a level with the contemporary art of Europe. Owing to 
the entire want of opportunities for professional education at home, our 
leading artists, with few exceptions, were forced to pass a good part of 
their lives in foreign studios. 

We also find that a feeling for the beauty of form, as indicated in 
black and white, or in sculpture, was scarcely perceptible in this stage of 
our art. With the exception of Shem Drowne and Patience Wright, who 
modelled skilfully in wax, the sense for plastic art was altogether dormant 
in the country; while any progress in architecture, until in recent years, 
was hopelessly ignored. It is true that the active, restless intellect of 
Thomas Jefferson sought to endow the nation with a sixth order of archi- 
tecture, called the Columbian, and patriotically resembling a stalk of 
Indian-corn. The small pillars made after this design are in one of the 
vestibules of the basement of the Capitol at Washington, where the ardent 



38 AET IN AMERICA. 

patriot may visit them, and see for himself the beginning and the end of 
the only order of architecture ever attempted in this country. 

Through much tribulation, much earnest faith, and enthusiasm for art, 
our early painters prepared the way for the national art of the future. 
They met only moderate appreciation in their native land at that time. 
But we owe much to them ; and in our preference for present methods — 
which must in turn be superseded by others — let us not forget the honor 
due to the pioneers of American art. In the first articulate utterances of 
a child, or in the dialect of an aboriginal tribe, lie the rudiments of a 
national tongue eventually carried to a high degree of culture; and the 
first rude art or poesy of a young people sometimes possesses touches of 
freshness, charming simplicity, or virile force which are too liable to be 
softened away bevond recall by the refinements of a later civilization. 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 39 



II. 

AMERICAN PAINTERS. 

1828-1878. 

HT^HE generation immediately succeeding the American Revolution was 
-*- devoted by the people of the young republic to adjusting its commer- 
cial and political relations at home and abroad. Early in this century, 
however, numerous signs of literary and art activity became apparent, 
and in 1815 the North American Review was founded. We mention this 
fact, although a literary event, as indicating the point in time when the 
nebulous character of the various intellectual influences and tendencies of 
the nation began to develop a certain cohesive and tangible form. It was 
about the same time that our art, subject to similar influences, began to 
assume a more definite individuality, and to exhibit rather less vagueness 
in its yearnings after national expression. 

Gilbert Stuart, one of the most remarkable colorists of modern times, 
died in the year 182S. In the same year the National Academy of De- 
sign was founded. These two events, occurring at the same time, seem 
properly to mark the close of one period of our art history and the dawn 
of its successor; for notwithstanding the excellence of Stuart's art, and 
the virile character of the art of some of his contemporaries, yet their 
efforts had been spasmodic and unequal ; much of it had been done 
abroad under foreign influences; and there was no sustained patronage or 
art organization at home which could combine their efforts toward a prac- 
tical and common end. The first president of the new institution was 
Samuel F. B. Morse. 

The National Academy of Design superseded a similar but less wisely 
organized society, which had led a precarious existence since 1801. "With 
the new institution was collected the nucleus of a gallery of paintings 
and casts; and from the outset the idea suggested by its name was car- 



40 



ART IN AMERICA. 




" MUMBLE THE PEG." [HENRY INMAN.] 

ried out, by furnishing the most thorough opportunities for art-instruction 
the country could afford. 

Although seemingly fortuitous, the establishment of the Academy of 
Design really marks the opening of a distinct era in the history of Ameri- 
can art; during which it has developed into a rounded completeness to a 
degree that enables us, with some measure of fairness, to note the causes 
which led to it, which have nourished its growth, and which have made it 
a worthy forerunner of new methods for expressing the artistic yearnings 
of those who are to follow in years to come. It has indicated a notable 
advance in our art; it has, in spite of its weakness or imitation of foreign 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 41 

conventionalisms, possessed certain traits entirely and distinctively native; 
and lias been distinguished by a number of artists of original and some- 
times unusual ability, whose failure to accomplish all they sought was due 
rather to unfortunate circumstances than to the lack of genuine power, 
which in another age might have done itself more justice. 

It is interesting to observe at this juncture that our art was influenced 
by exactly the same causes as our literature of the same period; and, like 
our national civilization, presents a singular reaching after original expres- 
sion, modified sometimes by an unconscious imitation of foreign thought 
and methods. 

There is one fact connected with the early growth of our art which is 
entirely contrary to the laws which have elsewhere governed the progress 
of art, and is undoubtedly due to the new and anomalous features of our 
social economy. Elsewhere the art-feeling has undeviatingly sought ex- 
pression first in earthen-ware or plastic art, then in architecture and sculpt- 
ure, and finally in painting. We have entirely reversed this order. The 
unsettled character of the population — especially at the time when emigra- 
tion from the Eastern to the Western States caused a general movement 
from State to State — together with the abundance of lumber at that time, 
evidently offered no opportunity or demand for any but the rudest and 
most rapidly constructed buildings, and anything like architecture and 
decorative work was naturally relegated to a later period; and for the 
same reason, apparently, the art of sculpture showed little sign of demand- 
ing expression here until after the art of painting had already formulated 
itself into societies and clubs, and been represented by numerous artists of 
respectable abilities. 

The art-feeling, which made itself apparent, vaguely and abortively, 
during our colonial period, began to demand freer and fuller expression 
soon after the new Republic had declared its independence ; and, with 
scarce any patronage from the Government, assumed a degree of excel- 
lence surprising under the circumstances, and rarely reached by a nation 
in so short a time. 

We recall no art of the past the order and conditions of whose growth 
resemble those of ours, except that of Holland after its wars of indepen- 
dence with Spain. The bane and the blessing of our art have been in 
the enormous variety of influences which have controlled its action. This 
has been a bane, because it has, until recently, prevented the concentra- 



42 ART IN AMERICA. 

tion of effort which might lead to grand results and schools. It has 
been a blessing, because individual expression has thus found a vent, and 
mannerism has not yet become a conventional net, so thrown around our 
art as to prevent free action and growth. The American art of the last 
two generations has resembled the restless activity of a versatile youth, 
who seeks in various directions for the just medium by which to give 
direction to his life-work. If there has been, on the whole, a national 
bias in one direction more than another, it has been for landscape- 
painting. 

Our intellectual state has also resembled the many-sided condition of 
Germany in the Middle Ages, waking up from the chaos of the Dark 
Ages, but broken up into different States, and representing different re- 
ligions and races. But our position has been even more agitated and di- 
verse; a general restlessness has characterized the community — a vast 
intellectual discontent with the present. Although strongly moved by 
pride of country, we have also been keenly sensitive to foreign influences, 
and have received impressions from them with the readiness of a photo- 
graphic plate, although until recently the result has been assimilation 
rather than imitation ; while internally we have been trying to harmo- 
nize race and sectional differences, which as yet are far from reaching 
homogeneity. 

Together with all these individual influences must be included one of 
general application, to which nearly all our artists, of whatever race or 
section, have been subject in turn. In other countries the people have, by 
a long preparation, become ready to meet the artist half-way in appreciat- 
ing and aiding him in his mission, either from the promptings of the re- 
ligious sentiment to which his art has given ocular demonstration, or from 
a dominating and universal sense of beauty. With us it has been quite 
otherwise; for the artists have been in advance of public sentiment, and 
have had the misfortune to be forced to wait until the people could come 
up to them. In addition to the fact that in New England Puritan influ- 
ences were at first opposed to art, the restless, surging, unequal, widely 
differing character of our people, brought face to face with the element- 
ary, problems of existence, founding new forms of government, and weld- 
ing incongruous factors into one race and nation — in a word, wresting 
from fate our right to be — made us indifferent to the ideal, except in 
sporadic and individual cases, which indicated here and there that below 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 



4:3 



the surface the poetic sentiment was preparing to assert itself; and that 
we, in turn, were preparing to acknowledge the great truth that art is an 
instinctive yearning of the race to place itself in accord with the har- 
mony which rules the universe. 

The result has been that a very large proportion of the artists of this 
period of our history have been compelled to endure far more than the 
traditionary hardships of the profession. They have been obliged to 
devote some of the best years of their lives to trade, and have not been 
able to take up art until late. To accuse American artists, as a class, of 




PORTRAIT OF PARKE GODWIN. [THOMAS LE CLEAR.] 



being mercenary — a charge made quite too often — is really something 
akin to irony, so much more successful pecuniarily would the majority of 
them have been in mercantile pursuits. The heroism of our early paint- 
ers, struggling, in obscure corners of the country, for opportunities to ex- 
press their yearning after the ideal, without instruction, without art-influ- 
ences, meeting little or no sympathy or encouragment, and in spite of 
these obstacles often achieving a respectable degree of excellence, is one 
of the most interesting, instructive, and sublime episodes in the history 
of art. 

Growing out of this hesitating condition of our early art mav be dis- 



44 ART IN AMERICA. 

cern'ed a secondary cause, which occurred in so many cases as to be justly 
considered one of the forces which formed the careful, minute, pains- 
taking style of much of our landscape art. We refer to the fact that 
many of the best of our early painters were first engravers on wood and 
steel. This gave them a minute, formal, and precise method of treat- 
ment, which led them to look at details rather than breadth of effect. 

When we turn to the influences from abroad which stimulated Amer- 
ican art during this period, we find that, while they fostered the growth 
of a certain aesthetic feeling, they at the same time instilled conventional 
methods and principles that deferred the development of a higher kind 
of art. It is greatly to be regretted that, notwithstanding the friendly re- 
lations between the United States and France, our art, when it was first 
looking to Europe for direction, should not have come in contact with 
that of France, which at that time, led by Gericault, Rousseau, Troyon, 
Delacroix, and other rising men, was becoming the greatest pictorial 
school since the Renaissance. But Italian art at that time was sunk to 
the lowest depths of conventionalism; while the good in the English art 
of the time was represented less by a school than by a few individuals of 
genius — Turner, Wilkie, Constable — who were so original that they failed 
to attract students whose first art ideas had been obtained in Italy. 

The influence of Italy on our early art was shown by the tendency of 
our painters in that direction — as now they go to France and Germany — 
and this was due primarily to Allston and Yanderlyn. The latter, when 
at Rome, occupied the house of Salvutor Rosa — apparently a trivial inci- 
dent, but if we could trace all the influence it may have had on the fancy 
and tastes of the young American artist, we might find it was a powerful 
contributor to the formation of the early style of the landscape artists who 
followed him to Italy. This bias was also greatly assisted by the many 
paintings imported at that time from the Italian peninsula, which were 
either originals, bought cheaply during the disturbances which then con- 
vulsed Europe, or copies of more or less merit. These works made their 
way gradually over our country, from Boston to Xew Orleans; and, with 
the rapidly shifting fortunes of our families, have often been so complete- 
ly placed out of sight and forgotten, that it is not an nnfrequent instance 
for one to be unearthed in a remote country village, or farm-house that 
would never be suspected of harboring high art. 

The larger portion of these foreign works came first to Boston, and 




PORTRAIT OF FLETCHER HARPER. [c. L. ELLIOTT. 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 47 

were hidden away somewhere in that vicinity, as in the case of the collec- 
tion bequeathed to Bowdoin College by its founder; whose best specimens 
were eventually sold and scattered for a mere song by a faculty who were 
ignorant of their value, and thought they might at the same time aid mo- 
rality and add an honest penny to the funds of the institution by selling 
its precious nudities, and thus remove them from the student's eye. As 
Allston and Stuart, who were colorists, also settled in Boston, after years 
of foreign study, these two circumstances contributed to make the Boston 
school from the first one of color — a fact less pronounced in the early art 
of New York. 

It is to West and Allston and Trumbull that we are to attribute the 
English element in our arts. The prominent position they then occupied 
before the American public made their example and opinions of great 
importance with their countrymen, and undoubtedly contributed to sug- 
gest one of the most characteristic traits of American art, that is, the ten- 
dency to make art a means for telling a story, which lias always been a 
prominent feature of English art. May we not also trace to English lit- 
erature the bias which unconsciously led our painters to turn their atten- 
tion to landscape with a unanimity that lias until recently made our pic- 
torial art distinctively a school of landscape painting? Cowper, Byron, 
and Wordsworth introduced landscape into poetry, and undoubtedly im- 
pelled English art in the same direction ; and it was exactly at that time 
that our own poet, Bryant, undoubtedly influenced at the turning-point 
of his character by Wordsworth's solemn worship of nature, was becom- 
ing the pioneer of American descriptive poetry; while Irving was intro- 
ducing the picturesque into our literature ; and Cooper, with his vivid 
descriptions of our forests, was, like Irving, creating a whole class of sub- 
jects that were to be illustrated by the American artists of this period. 

The influences cited as giving direction to the struggling efforts of art 
in our country during the early part of this century are illustrated with 
especial force by five portrait, figure, and landscape-painters, who may al- 
most be considered the founders of this period of our art — Harding, Weir, 
Cole, Doughty, and Durand. 

Chester Harding was a farmer's son, who, after an apprenticeship in 
agriculture, took up the trade of chair-maker at twenty-one, the time when 
the young Parisian artist has already won his Prix de Home. After this 
he tried various other projects, including those of peddling and the keep- 



48 



ART IN AMERICA. 



ing of a tavern; and then took his wife and child and floated on a flat- 
boat down the Alleghany to Pittsburgh — at that time a mere settlement — 
in search of something by which to earn a bare living. There he took to 
sign-painting; and it was not until his twenty-sixth year that the idea of 
becoming a professional artist entered his head. An itinerant portrait- 
painter coming to the place first suggested the idea to Harding, who 
engaged him to paint the portrait of Mrs. Harding, and took his first art- 




AN IDEAL HEAD. [G. A. BAKER.] 



lesson while looking over the artist's shoulder ; and his first crude at- 
tempts so fascinated him that he at once adopted art as a profession,. 
and in six months painted one hundred likenesses, such as they were, at 
twenty-five dollars each, and then settled in Boston, where he seems to 
have been taken up with characteristic enthusiasm. On going to England, 
Harding, notwithstanding the few advantages he had enjoyed, seemed to 
compare so favorably with portrait-painters there that he was patronized 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 4iJ 

by the first noblemen of the land. Although belonging also to the latter 
part of the period immediately preceding that now under consideration, 
yet Harding was, on the whole, an important factor in the art which dates 
from the founding of the National Academy, and was one of the strong- 
est of the group of portrait-painters naturally associated with him, such 
as Alexander, Waldo, Jarvis, and Ingham. There was something grand 
in the personality of Harding, not only in his almost gigantic physique 
but also his sturdy, frank, good-natured, but earnest and indomitable char- 
acter, which causes him to loom np across the intervening years as a type 
of the people that have felled forests, reclaimed waste places, and given 
thews and sinews to the Republic that in a brief century has placed itself 
in the front rank of nations. 

While Harding, with all his artistic inequalities, fairly represented the 
portrait art of Boston at that period, Henry Inman may be considered as 
holding a similar position in New York. As a resident of that city and a 
pupil of Jarvis, he enjoyed advantages of early training superior to those 
of most of our painters of that day. Exceedingly versatile, and excelling 
in miniature, and doing fairly well in genre and landscape, Inman will be 
best known in future years by his admirable oil portraits of some of the 
leading characters of the time. He was a man of great strength and 
symmetry of character, who would have won distinction in any field, and 
his early death was a misfortune to the country. 

New York became the centre for a number of excellent and character- 
istic portrait-painters soon after Inman established his reputation — such as 
Charles Loring Elliott, Baker, Hicks, Le Clear, Huntington, and Page, the 
contemporaries of Healy, Ames, Hunt, and Staigg, of Boston, and Sully, 
of Philadelphia — all artists of individual styles and characteristic traits of 
their own. Sully, owing to his great age, really belonged also to the pre- 
ceding period of our art. 

In Elliott we probably find the most important portrait-painter of this 
period of American art. It was a peculiarity of his intellectual growth 
that only by degrees did he arrive at the point of being able to seize a 
simple likeness. But it is not at all uncommon for genius to falter in its 
first attempts ; and Elliott was one of the few artists we have produced 
who could be justly ranked among men of genius, as distinguished from 
those of talents, however marked. Stuart excelled all our portrait-painters 
in purity and freshness of color and masterly control of pigments ; but he 

4 



50 



ART IN AMERICA. 




'THE JUDGMENT OF PARIS." [HENRY PETERS GREY.] 



was scarcely more vigorous than Elliott in the wondrous faculty of grasp- 
ing character. Herein lay this artist's strength. He read the heart of 
the man he portrayed, and gave us not merely a faithful likeness of his 
outward features, but an epitome of his intellectual life and traits, almost 
clutching and bringing to light his most secret thoughts. In studying the 
portraits of Elliott we learn to analyze and to discern the essential and 
irreconcilable difference between photography and the highest order of 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 51 

painting. The sun is a great magician, but lie cannot reproduce more 
than lies on the surface — he cannot suggest the soul. He is like a truth- 
ful but unwilling witness, who gives only part, and not always the best 
part, of the truth. But then the genius of the great artist steps in, com- 
pletes the testimony, and presents before us suggestions of the immortal 
being that shall survive when the mortal frame and the sun which photo- 
graphs it have alike passed away. 

Baker, on the other hand, has excelled in rendering the delicate color 
and loveliness of childhood, and the splendor of the finest types of Ameri- 
can feminine beauty. The miniatures of Staigg are also among the most 
winning works of the sort produced by our art. Among other excellent 
miniature-painters of this period was Miss Goodrich, of whose personal 
history less is known than of any other American artist. 

William Page occupies a phenomenal position in the art of this period, 
because, unlike most of our painters, lie has not been content to take art 
methods and materials as he found them, but has been an experimental- 
ist and a theorist as well, and therefore belongs properly to more recent 
phases of our art. Thus, while he has achieved some singularly successful 
works in portraiture and historical painting, he has done much that has 
aroused respect rather than enthusiasm. 

If less refined in aim and treatment than Page in his rendering of 
female beauty, Henry Peters Grey, who was also an earnest student of 
Italian Renaissance ait, succeeded sometimes to a degree which, if far be- 
low that of the masters whom he studied, was yet in advance of most of 
such art as has been executed by American painters, at least until very 
recently. " The Judgment of Paris" is certainly a clever if not wholly 
original work, and the figure of Venus a fine piece of form and color. 

Daniel Huntington, the third president of the National Academy of 
Design, is a native of New York city, and has enjoyed advantages and 
successes experienced by very few of our early artists. A pupil of Morse 
and Inman, he is better known by the men of this generation as a pleas- 
ing portrait-painter; but the most important of his early efforts were in 
what might be called a semi -literary style in genre and historical and 
allegorical or religious art, in which departments he has won a perma- 
nent place in our annals by such compositions as "Mercy's Dream/' 
"The Sibyl," and "Queen Mary Signing the Death-warrant of Lady Jane 
Grev." 



52 ART IN AMERICA. 

While portraiture lias been the field to which most of our leading 
painters of the figure have directed their attention during this period, 
genre has been represented by several artists of decided ability, who, under 
more favorable art auspices, might have achieved superior results. Inman 
was one of the first of our artists to make satisfactory attempts in genre. 
If circumstances had allowed hiin to devote himself entirely to any one of 
the three branches he pursued, he might have reached a higher position 
than he did. But the most important genre artist of the early part of this 
period was William Sidney Mount, the son of a farmer on Long Island. 
Associated first with his brother as a sign-painter, he eventually, in 1828, 
took up genre painting. Mount lacked ambition, as he himself confessed; 
he was too easily influenced by the rapidly won approval of the public to 
cease improving his style, and early returned to his farm on Long Island. 
Mount was not remarkable as a colorist, although it is quite possible he 
might have succeeded as such with superior advantages; but he was in 
other respects a man of genius, who as such has not been surpassed by the 
numerous genre artists whom he preceded, and to whom he showed by his 
example the resources which our native domestic life can furnish to the 
genre painter. This American Wilkie had a keen eye for the humorous 
traits of our rustic life, and rendered them with an effect that sometimes 
suo-o-ests the old Dutch masters. "The Lono; Story" and " Bargaining; for 
a Horse" are full of inimitable touches of humor and shrewd observations 
of human nature. F. W. Edmonds, who was a contemporary of Mount, 
although a bank cashier, found time from his business to produce many 
clever genre paintings, showing a keener eye for color, but less snap in the 
drawing and composition, than Mount. 

In other departments of the figure at this period of our art, Robert W. 
Weir holds a prominent position as one of our pioneers in the distinctive 
branch called historical painting. Of Huguenot descent, and gaining his 
artistic training in Italy, after severe struggles at home, his career illus- 
trates several of the influences which have been most apparent in forming 
American art. Although not a servile imitator of foreign and classic art, 
and showing independence of thought in his practice and choice of sub- 
jects, Weir's style is pleasing rather than vigorous and original. It shows 
care and loving patience, as of one who appreciates the dignity of his pro- 
fession, but no marked imaginative force, nor does he introduce or suggest 
any new truths. Such a massive composition, however, as the "Sailing of 




" MIRANDA." [DANIEL HUNTINGTON.] 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. DO 

the Pilgrims," while it scarcely arouses enthusiasm, causes us to wonder 
that we should so early have produced an art as conscientious and clever 
as this. The portrait of Red Jacket, and the elaborate painting called 
"Taking the Veil," are also works of decided merit. Enjoying a serene 
old age, this revered painter yet survives, still wielding his brush, and 
annually exhibiting creditable pictures in the Academy. 




"A SURPRISE." [WILLIAM SIDNEY MOUNT.] 



In the works of the figure-painters we have spoken of there is evident 
an earnest pursuit of art, attended sometimes with very respectable results: 
but, with the exception of here and there a portrait-painter of real genius. 
we do not discover in their paintings much that is of value in the history 
of art, except as indicating the existence of genuine aesthetic feeling in the 
country demanding expression in however hesitating and abortive a man- 
ner. But when we come to the subject of landscape-painting, we enter 
upon a field in which originality of style is apparent, and a certain consist- 
ency and harmony of effort. Minds of large reserve power meet us at the 
outset, moved by strong and earnest convictions, and often expressing their 



56 ART IN AMERICA. 

thoughts in methods entirely their own. Thoroughly, almost fanatically, 
national by nature, even when their art shows traces of foreign influence, 
and drawing their subjects from their native soil, they have created an art 
which can fairly claim to be ranked as a school, whatever be the position 
assigned to it in future ages. English, French, Irish, African, and Spaniard 
have alike vied in painting the scenery of this beautiful country, and min- 
gling their fame and identifying their lives with " its hills, rock-ribbed and 
ancient as the sun," its mountain streams and meadow lands, its primeval 
forests, and the waves that break upon its granite shores. 

It is to three artists of great natural ability that the origin of Ameri- 
can landscape-painting can be traced — Cole, Doughty, and Durand. Al- 
though the youngest of the three, the first seems to have antedated 
Doughty by a few months in adopting this branch of art professionally ; 
while Durand, older than Cole by several years, yet did not take up land- 
scape-painting until some years after him. 

Thomas Cole died in the prime of life, at the age of forty-seven, but 
there are few characters in the history of the country that have made a 
deeper impression. Singularly versatile, inspired by a powerful imagina- 
tion, possessing a pure and lofty character, and animated by the noblest of 
sentiments, we feel before his greatest works — through all the imperfec- 
tions of his art, through all the faltering methods with which his genius 
sought to express itself — that a vast mind here sought feebly to utter great 
thoughts (which he has doubtless already learned to utter with more truth 
in another world); we see that unmistakable sign of all minds of a high 
order, the evidence that the man was greater than his works. It is not 
dexterity, technique, knowledge, that impresses us in studying the works 
of Cole, so much as character. One feels that in them is seen the hand- 
writing of one of the greatest men who have ever trod this continent. 

Thomas Cole, the first artist who ever painted landscape professionally 
in America — unless we except the few faltering landscape-paintings of 
John Frazer, the miniature artist of the previous century — was born in 
England, but he was of American ancestry, and his parents returned to 
this country in his childhood. The difficulties with which he had to con- 
tend at the outset of his art career form an affecting picture. From in- 
fancy he had been fond of the pencil ; and the tinting of wall-paper in his 
father's factory at Steubenville, Ohio, gave him a slight practice in the 
harmony of colors. In the mean time he took up engraving, but was 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 



57 




" TAKING THE TEIL." [ROBERT WEIR.] 



diverted from this pursuit by a travelling German portrait-painter, who 
gave him a few lessons in the use of oil-colors. He began with portrait- 
ure, and resolved to be an artist, although the failure of his father's busi- 
ness brought the whole family on him for support. The struggles through 
which the youth now passed make a long and painful story. Through it 
all he retained his bias for art, and. at twenty-two began to draw scenery, 
from nature, along the banks of the Monongahela. Dunlap has well said, 
" To me the struo-o-les of a virtuous man endeavoring to buffet fortune, 



58 AET IN AMERICA. 

steeped to the very lips in poverty, yet never despairing, or a moment ceas- 
ing his exertions, is one of the most sublime objects of contemplation." 

After several years of this severe hardship, Cole finally drifted to New 
York, and eventually attracted notice. When the National Academy of 
Design was founded in 1828, Cole and Doughty were simultaneously win- 
ning success, and giving a permanent character to the art which for half a 
century was destined to be most prominent on the walls of the Academy. 

So far as foreign technical influences can be traced in the compositions 
of Cole, they are those of Claude and Salvator Rosa. He revisited Eng- 
land at the time when Turner and Constable were establishing their fame, 
and producing such an influence on the great school 'of French landscape 
art which has since succeeded. It is interesting to think what would have 
been the character of our landscape art if Cole had been favorably im- 
pressed by the broad and vigorous style of these painters. But he does 
not seem to have been ripe for the audacious and sometimes more truth- 
ful methods of modern landscape, and expressed himself with warmth 
regarding what he considered the extravagances of Turner. 

The art of Cole was however, largely biassed by the literature of Eng- 
land. The influence of both Bunyan and Walter Scott can be traced in 
his works; while the serious turn of his mind gave a solemn majesty and 
a religious fervor to his compositions, which command our deep respect, 
even when we fail altogether to concede complete success to his artistic 
efforts. For this reason Cole has wielded, more than most of our artists, a 
powerful influence outside of his art with a people which, with all its vola- 
tility, yet maintains the traditions of a deeply religious ancestry. It was 
in this many-sidedness of his genius, that brought him into contact with 
widely varied sympathies, that Cole's chief power consisted ; for if we look 
at his work from the art point of view alone, Ave are impressed with its in- 
equality, the lack of early art influences which it exhibits, and an attempt 
sometimes at dramatic force which occasionally lapses into mere sensation- 
alism. But in all his compositions there are evident a rapturous love of 
nature, and the energy and yearning of a mind seeking to find expression 
for a vast ideal. Cole was what very few of our artists have been — an 
idealist. The work by which he will be longest and best remembered in 
the art of his country is the noble series called the "Course of Empire," 
consisting of five paintings, representing a nation's rise, progress, decline, 
and fall, and the change which comes over the abandoned scenery as the 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 



59 



once superb capital returns to the wildness and solitude of nature. The 
last of the series, entitled "Desolation" — a gray silent waste, haunted by 
the bittern, with here and there a crumbling column reflected in the de- 
serted harbor, where gleaming fleets once floated, and imperial pageants 
were seen in the pavilions along the marble piers — is one of the most 
remarkable productions of American art. But with all the enthusiasm 
which Cole aroused among his contemporaries, his influence seems to have 




"DESOLATION." — [FROM "THE COURSE OF EMPIRE," BY THOMAS COLE.] 



been to give dignity to landscape art rather than to impress his thoughts 
and methods on other artists. It is true that he seized the characteristics 
of our scenery with a truth which came not only from close study, but also 
from deep affection for the land whose mountains and lakes he painted, 
and thus led our first landscapists to observe the great variety and beauty 
of their own country. But, on the other hand, a certain hardness in his 
technique probably rendered him less influential as a leader than Doughty 
and Durand. The former, if inferior in general capacity to Cole, was 
more emphatically the artist by nature. 

Thomas Doughty was in the leather business until his twenty-eighth 
year, when, without any previous training, he threw up the trade, and 
adopted the profession of landscape-painter. There is an audacity, a self- 



60 ART IN AMERICA. 

confidence, in the way our early painters entered on the art career, without 
instruction in the theory and practice of their art, which is charming for 
the simplicity it shows, but would tend to bring the efforts of these artists 
into contempt if the results had not often justified their audacity, for they 
were sometimes men of remarkable ability. There have been many great- 
er landscape-painters than Doughty, but few who have done so well with 
such meagre opportunities for instruction. He seems, also, to have been 
successful in attracting favorable notice in England as well as here, al- 
though at a time when English landscape art was at its zenith. The soft, 
poetic traits, the tender, silvery tones, that distinguished Doughty's style, 
were entirely original with him, and have undoubtedly had much influence 
in forming the style of some of the landscapists who succeeded him. 

In Asher B. Durand, a Huguenot by descent, and the only one of the 
three founders of American landscape-painting who survives to our time 
to enjoy a green old age, we find a nature as strong as that of Cole. The 
equal of that artist in the sum of his intellectual powers, we discover in 
him a different quality of mind. Similar as they are in high moral pur- 
pose and a profound reverence for the Creator, as represented in his 
works, Cole was the most imaginative and inspirational of the two, stirred 
more by the fire of genius; while Durand, with a more equable tempera- 
ment and a larger experience, produced results that are more satisfactory 
from an art point of view, 

Few artists have shown greater capacity than Durand in successfully 
following entirely distinct branches of art. As a steel-engraver, who in 
this century has produced work that is much superior to his superb en- 
graving of Vanderlyn's "Ariadne?" Who of our artists has been able 
both to design and to engrave such a work as his "Musidora?" After 
employing the burin so admirably, he took up portrait-painting, and by 
such portraits as his head of Bryant placed himself by the side of our 
leading portrait-painters. Still unsatisfied with the success won thus far, 
Durand, in his thirty-eighth year, directed his efforts to landscape-painting, 
and at once became not only a pioneer but a master in this department. 
The care he had been obliged to give to engraving was undoubtedly of 
great assistance to him in enabling him to render the lines of a composi- 
tion with truth; while his practice of studying character in portraiture 
gave him insight into the individuality of trees — he invested them with a 
humanity like that which the ancient Greeks save to their forests when 




A STUDY FROM NATURE. — [a. B. DURAND.] 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 



63 



they made them the haunt of the dryads. It is to this that we doubtless 
owe the massive handling, the fresh and vigorous treatment of trees in 
such solemn and majestic landscapes as "The Edge of the Forest," in the 
Corcoran Gallery at Washington. The art of Durand is wholly national; 
few of our painters owe less to foreign inspiration. Here he learned the 
various arts that gave him a triple fame, here he found the subjects for 
his compositions, and his name is destined to endure as long as American 
art shall endure. 

Among the most prominent of the landscape-painters who succeeded 
the founders of the art among us, and were, like them, inspired by a rev- 




MkM. 




"NOON BY THE SEA-SHORE." BEVERLY BEACH. — [j. F. KENSETT.] 

erent spirit and lofty poetic impulses, John F. Kensett holds a command- 
ing position. Like Durand, he began his career with the burin, and after 
working for the American Bank-note Company, drifted into painting. 
Circumstances seem to have favored him beyond many of his compeers, 
and he was early permitted to visit England and the Continent, and spent 
seven years abroad. Notwithstanding so long an association with foreign 
schools, especially the Italian, we find very little evidence of foreign art 
in the style of Kensett. He was fully as original as Durand, and saw 
and represented nature in his own language. His methods of rendering 
a bit of landscape were tender and harmonious, and entirely free from 
any attempt at sensationalism. So marked was the latter characteristic 
especially, that before the great modern question of the values began to 



64 



ART IN AMERICA. 



arouse much attention in the ateliers of Paris, Kensett had already grasp- 
ed the perception of a theory of art practice which has since become so 
prominent in foreign art; although, naturally, it is not in all his canvases 
that this attempt to interpret the true relations of objects in nature is 
equally evident. We see it brought out most prominently in some of his 
quiet, dreamy coast scenes, in which it is not so much things as feelings 
that he tries to render or suggest. In them also is most apparent an 
endeavor after breadth of effect, which is a sign of mastery when success- 
fully carried out. Mr. Kensett's art consisted in a certain inimitably 
winning tenderness of tone — a subtle poetic suggestiveness. His small 
compositions, as a rule, are more satisfying than his larger pictures, in 
which the thinness of his technique is sometimes too prominent. The 
career of Kensett, who died but a few years ago, is one of the most com- 
plete and symmetrical in our art history. 

A contemporary of Kensett, but still surviving him, George L. Brown, 
of Boston, struggled heroically and successfully with the early difficulties 




'ALTORE, BIRTH-PLACE OF WILLIAM TELL." [GEORGE L. BROWN.] 



of his life; and, yielding to the seductive influences of Italian scenery, 
devoted his art to representing it, with results that entitle him to an lion- 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 65 

orable position. The effects lie has sought are lnininonsness and color. 
Mr. Brown's method of using colors was formed, to a certain extent, on 
that of the Italian landscape art of the time; and, while often brilliant 
and poetic, reminds ns sometimes of the studio rather than of the free, 
pure, magical opulence of the atmosphere and sunlight of the scenery he 
portrayed. It can be frankly conceded, however, that he has been no 
slavish copyist of a style; but while acknowledging the force of foreign 
influences, has yet given abundant evidence of a personality of his own; 
and in such works as his "Bay of New York," which is owned by the 
Prince of Wales, and some of his views among the liquid streets of Venice 
lined with mouldering palaces, and skimmed by gondolas darting hither 
and thither like swallows, he has shown himself to be a true poet and an 
admirable painter. 



GG ART IX AMERICA. 



III. 

AMERICAN PAINTERS. 

1828-1878. 

"1VT0 school of art ever came more rapidly into being than the landscape 
-^-^ school which owes its rise to Cole, Doughty, and Dnrand. Tip to 
this time portraiture had been the field in which American painters had 
achieved their most signal successes. But now the majority of our artists 
of ability turned their attention to the representation of scenery; and for 
forty years a long list of painters have made the public familiar with their 
native land, and have thus, at the same time, stimulated a popular interest 
in art. 

It is impossible to mention here more than a few of those who, as land- 
scape-painters, have won a local or national reputation among us. ]STor is 
it essential, while recognizing the great importance and undoubted merit 
of our landscape art, to exaggerate its relative value and position. "While 
it has, in most cases, been the result of a true artistic feeling and a gen- 
uine, if not very demonstrative, enthusiasm for nature on the part of the 
artists who. have devoted their lives to its pursuit, and while it has given 
us much that is pleasing, much that is improving, much that is poetic, and 
occasionally some examples of a high order of landscape-painting — yet, 
as a whole, our school of landscape seems scarcely to be entitled to the 
highest rank. The wonder is that it has been of such average excellence, 
for the environing conditions have apparently not been favorable. The 
influences among which it sprung have been so often prosaic or unin- 
spiring, that, notwithstanding its fertility, we find the result to lean to 
quantity rather than quality. The ideal and emotional elements in art 
have not been sufficiently dominant; while the topographical and the 
mechanical notions regarding the end of landscape art have prevailed. 

Until recently this school has contented itself with the superficial as- 




BROOK IN THE WOODS." — [WORTHINGTON WHITTREDGE.] 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 69 

peet of nature rather than with the subtle suggestions by which it appeals 
to the soul. An absence of imaginative power has been too apparent, and 
a lack of the energy and earnestness born of large natures and absorbing 
enthusiasm; and the abundant variety or individuality of style, while in- 
dicating self-reliant, independent action, sometimes has also been a result 
of the want of solid training, or failure to grasp the accepted principles 
which underlie art practice. There has been a general average of native 
ability in the artists — a certain dead level of excellence in the quality of 
the works offered at our annual exhibitions — which was good as far as it 
went; but, except on rare occasions, it seldom arrested and enchained at- 
tention by the expression of daring technique or imaginative power, as the 
outcome of concerted influences exerted in one direction, and resulting in 
typical representative minds of vast resources, bounding into the arena and 
challenging the admiration of the world. Artists we have undoubtedly 
had occasionally, during this period, who have been endowed with genius 
to win renown ; but they have, like Cole, either lacked the training and 
influences — the long succession of national heredity in art practice which 
are well-nigh indispensable to the highest success; or, like Church, yield- 
ing to the impulse of a prosaic environment, they have stopped short of 
the highest flights of art, and their imagination has been curbed to the 
subordinate pursuit of rendering the actual rather than the ideal. 

In technique, also — if we may be permitted modestly to express an 
opinion on the subject — this school has seemed to be, on the whole, weak 
and vacillating, being impelled by no definite aim. It has dealt with 
detail rather than masses; it has concerned itself with parts rather than 
general effect. Thus, while the rendering of details has sometimes been 
given with great fidelity, the spirit of the scene has eluded the artist, and 
a work which dazzles us at first, fails, therefore, to hold the imagination of 
the observer, and becomes flat and insipid on repeated inspection. The 
reverse is the case with works of art of the first order. 

We also find in the art of this school weakness in a knowledge of — or 
at least in the power of appreciating — the vast significance of the line 
in art. Too many American paintings, which have been clever in color, 
have been almost ruined by the palpable ignorance they display of the 
elements of drawing. Inability to compose effectively— or, in other words, 
to perceive the harmony which is the dominant idea of true art— has also 
been too frequent a characteristic of this school. While in the application 



TO 



ART IX AMERICA. 



8? 



Si 1 
: 33sB$ 

:'■ ■'■'■■■''■ ' :_;. -r :.-■■■: .■■■■■ 






LANDSCAPE COMPOSITION*. [r. W. HCBBARD.] 

of colors a lack of nerve lias been exhibited which gives to many of these 
works an appearance of thinness, that becomes painfully apparent when 
they have been painted a few years. These observations apply no less to 
the figure-painting than the landscape art of this period of American art ; 
and a general absence of warmth and earnestness is the impression which 
a survey of the field leaves upon the mind of the candid observer. 

There is nothing in this to surprise or to discourage, if we frankly con- 
sider the surrounding circumstances. Great art is the child of repose; 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 71 

the restlessness, the feverish activity of the country, eminently encouraging 
to some pursuits, is, if not fatal to the arts, at least opposed to their highest 
development; the vast multiplicity of aims agitating the people has thus 
far prevented that concentration of effort which meets with a response in 
the enthusiasm of artistic genius. Instead of being discouraged, therefore, 
by the quality of the art we have already produced, we accept it as strong 
evidence that the American people have a decided natural turn for the 
arts, which only awaits a more favorable condition of the nation to reach 
a higher plane of excellence. 

Nor does the general absence of imaginative power in our art seem to 
us proof that we are by nature destined to remain a prosaic people. Aside 
from the fact that already years ago we had such imaginative artists as 
Hamilton, Lafarge, Vedder, and others, we consider that the wonderful 
inventive quality of the American mind toward scientific. and mechanical 
discovery argues a highly creative imagination. Herbert Spencer it is 
who proves somewhere that imagination must enter into the working out 
of the problems of inventive science. Hitherto the nation's needs have 
stimulated the imagination in that direction; but under new conditions 
there is little reason to doubt that the same faculty will become subservi- 
ent to the creation of an original and powerful school of art in America. 

But while admitting the weak points of our landscape art, and that the 
highest flights of which landscape- painting is capable have not always 
been reached by our artists, we should be careful, on the other hand, lest 
we fail to award them the merit which is justly their due for persevering 
endeavor, and frequently for great natural ability. Let us, in justice, un- 
grudgingly allow the discriminating praise that some out of a large num- 
ber are undoubtedly entitled to claim. If we mention them individ- 
ually rather than by the classification of schools, it is simply because, for 
the reasons already stated, scarce any of our artists have founded schools; 
although we may, perhaps, without inconsistency, speak of the efforts of 
artists of altogether different styles, but treating the same class of sub- 
jects, as a school. It is in this sense that we allude to our school of 
landscape. 

With certain important exceptions, to be noted in another chapter, the 
American art of this period has, on the whole, been concerned chiefly with 
the objective; and it could not have well been otherwise, for any other 
form of art at such a time would have utterly failed to cany the people 



72 ART IN AMERICA. 

with it, and thus missed of producing that gradual aesthetic education 
which is the province of a national art. 

Not only for this reason has our school of landscape art vindicated its 
right to be, and established its claim on our respectful attention, but also 
because it has owed little to foreign influences — springing rather from 
environing circumstances, as naturally as the flowers of May follow the 
departure of winter. 

And thus, as after a long winter a few warm spring days cover the 
orchard with an affluence of blossoms, so at this time from many quarters 
of the land artists appeared, especially in the field of landscape art ; and 




THE TASTY DEEP." [WILLIAM T. RICHARDS.] 



one can hardly believe that where, but a few years before, the Indian and 
the buffalo and the wolf had roamed at their own wild will, artists now 
arose, armed with an ability to discern the beauties of their native land, to 
direct the prosaic thoughts of the pioneer to the loveliness of the nature 
which surrounded him, and to make for themselves an enduring name. 
Ohio, the Massachusetts of the West, for example, which became a State 
as late as 1S00, was in the early part of this period especially prolific in 
artists, who, if the}' did not find instruction or a public on the spot, were 
at least enabled, with the increasing means of communication, to go to 
New York and Boston, or to wander over to the studios and art wealth of 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. (6 

Europe. In other lands and ages the poetic sentiment lias first found a 
vent in lyrics and idyls; but with us the best poetry has been in the land- 
scape-painting which was created by the sons of those whose ploughs first 
broke the soil of this continent with a Christian civilization. At this 
period, also, we note the advent of an influence which doubtless aided 
to promote a more rapid pursuit of the new art impulse of the nation. 
Steam, the mighty magician which chives the locomotive and the steam- 
ship, is in bad repute with the conservatives who are not in sympathy with 
the progressive movements of the age ; and yet among all the other results 
of which it has been the wonderful agent, we must ascribe its patronage 
of art. It is undoubtedly to the far greater facilities for going from place 
to place, which followed the introduction of steam, that we must partly 
attribute the rapid success of many of the artists who appeared in our 
country at that time in such unexpected numbers. 

It was in 1SI1 that Leutze went to Diisseldorf to study, and thus in- 
troduced a new influence into our art, which hitherto, so far as it had 
acknowledged foreign influences, had been swayed by the schools of Italy 
and Britain. The effect was evident when, a few years later, Worthington 
Whittredge, a native of Ohio, went to Diisseldorf, and studied under the 
guidance of Achenbach. Very naturally his style showed for a time the 
effect of foreign methods; but he was guided by a native independence 
of action that enabled him in the end to assimilate rather than to imi- 
tate, like most of our artists at this time, and his later landscapes are 
thoroughly individual and American, although doubtless improved by for- 
eign discipline. As a faithful delineator of the various phases of Amer- 
ican wood interiors, Mr. Whittredge has deservedly won a permanent 
place in the popular favor. Some of his landscapes, representing the 
sceneiy of the great West, have also been large in treatment and ef- 
fective in composition ; but his skies sometimes lack atmosphere and 
ideality. 

Like his master, Durand, J. W. Casilear began his career as an en- 
graver; and the success he achieved in this department is attested by his 
very clever engraving of Huntington's "Sibyl." Since he drifted into 
landscape -painting, Casilear has produced many delicately finished and 
poetic scenes, distinguished by elegance and refinement rather than dash 
or originality ; and somewhat the same observations would apply to the 
tender landscapes of James A. Snydam. In such dreamy, pleasant, but 



ART IN AMERICA. 



not very vigorous paintings as that of his " Valley of the Pemigewasset," 
Samuel L. Gerry has also attracted favorable attention. 



v^::m 




mSSXSBi 



■ 

■ .-.-.. ' .■■■■.■■■■:.■■■.■:.■■■■■:■■■.:. ■■■ 

mm^ -mm--: ^m^&:mm^^ ■ 

■ ■ ■■ . ■■■■, : r-; . ■ m ■ ■. ■ ' a ., 

■.. : :'■ : ■ ■ . _ ■ - ■ .-.■■ 




"high torn, rockland lake." — [jasper f. cropsey.] 

The work of a genuine poet is apparent in the canvases of R. "W. 
Hubbard. Repose and pensive harmoniousness of treatment characterize 
his simple and winsome, if not stirring, transcripts of the more familiar 
phases of our scenery. They are idyls in color. What Hubbard has done 
for New England landscape, J. R. Meeker, of St. Louis, has attempted for 
the "lakes of the Atchafalaya, fragrant and thickly embowered with blos- 
soming hedges of roses," and the live-oaks spreading their vast arms, like 
groined arches of Gothic cathedrals, festooned with the mystically trailing 
folds of the Spanish moss, along the lagoons of the South-west, where the 
sequestered shores are haunted by the pelican and the gayly colored crane, 
and the groves are melodious with the rapturous lyrics of the mocking- 
bird, the improvisatore of the woods. If not always successful in the tone 
of his pictures, it may be conceded that Mr. Meeker has approached his 
subject with a reverent and poetic spirit, and has often rendered these 
scenes with much feeling and truth. 

Still another aspect of our scenery has been reproduced with fidelity 
by W. T. Richards, of Philadelphia. We refer to the long reaches of 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 



75 



silvery shore and the sand-dunes which are characteristic of many parts 
of our Atlantic coast. He has often painted woodland scenes with great 
patience, but, as it seems to us, with too much detail, and with greens 
which are open to a charge of being crude and violent. But in his beach 
effects Mr. Richards maintains an important position; and if slightly man- 
nered, has yet developed a style of subject and treatment which very 
effectively represents certain distinguishing features of our solemn coasts. 
Some of his water- color paintings have scarcely been surpassed, as, for 
example, the noble representations of the bleak, snow-like, cedar-tufted 
dunes along the Jersey shore. 

The extraordinary variety of the effects of American landscape is 
again shown by the gorgeousness of our autumnal foliage. It has been 
objected by some that it is too vivid for art purposes. We consider this 
a matter of individual taste. There is nothing more absurd in trying 
to render the effects of sunset, or the scarlet and gold of an American 




'THE PARSONAGE." [a. F. BELLOWS.] 



forest in the dreamy days of the Indian summer, than in undertaking 
to paint the splendor of many- colored drapery in an Oriental crowd, 
which is considered a legitimate subject for the artist who has a cor- 



76 ART IN AMERICA. 

rect eve for color. It is not in the subject, but in the artist, that the 
difficulty lies. Some of our painters have seized these autumnal displays 
with fine feeling and excellent judgment. Kensett is an example; an- 
other is J. F. Cropsey, who, beginning life as an architect, became event- 
ually an agreeable delineator of our autumnal scenery, and at one time 
executed a number of paintings remarkable for their truth and artistic 
beauty. His later work has scarcely sustained the early reputation he 
justly acquired. At its best, his style was crisp, strong in color, and some- 
times very bold in composition. Mr. C. P. Cranch, who was associated 
with Cropsey in Italy, and who is w r ell known as a writer, has exhibited 
in his Venetian landscapes a correct perception of color, while his method 
lacks firmness of drawing, and shows traces of foreign influence more than 
that of many of our artists who studied abroad at this time. K. II. Fuller, 
who was a night-watchman on the police force of Chelsea, Massachusetts, 
and died in 1871, was an artist whose educational opportunities were ex- 
cessively meagre. But he had a fine eye for color and atmospheric ef- 
fect, and some of his landscapes are painted with a full brush, and are 
tender and beautiful. F. D. Williams, before he left Boston for Paris, 
also developed a strong scheme of handling and color which was at once 
pleasing and original. F. II. Shapleigh has likewise shown an excellent 
feeling for some of nature's more quiet effects, and his coast, scenes are 
attractive, although lacking somewhat in force. 

As one considers this field of American art, he is increasingly aston- 
ished to find how strikingly it exemplifies one of the leading traits of a 
national school in the entire originality and individuality with which each 
of our prominent landscapists of this period interprets nature, even when 
he has studied more or less in Europe. Whatever may be the general 
defect of refinement rather than strength, and other weaknesses charac- 
teristic of our school of landscape art, it must be admitted that its repre- 
sentative artists have been often sturdily independent, and that their mer- 
its as well as their defects are entirely their own. What difference there 
is between the carefully finished but rich, massive foliage of David John- 
son, suggesting the strength of the old English masters of landscape, and 
the dreamy, mellow pastoral meadow lands, wooded slopes, and dimpling 
lakes of our Green Mountains, veiled by a luminous haze and steeped in 
repose, which are so delicately portrayed by the brush of J. B. Bristol! 
Few of the landscape-painters of this school have produced more agreea- 




HI 



« : - ii 




»I 



LANDSCAPE WITH CATTLE. [jAMES HART.] 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 79 

ble results with their brush. What points of divergence there are, again, 
between' the landscapes of W. L. Son n tag and A. F. Bellows! — the one 
adopting a scheme of tone and color apparently out of the focus of 
nature,. yet so using it in rendering ideal compositions as to achieve re- 
sults which place him by the side of onr leading poets of nature. To 
him landscape-painting seems to be not so much a means to give faith- 
fid transcripts of actual scenes as to represent the ideals of his fancy; 
and as sueh we accept them with thankfulness, for they not only serve 
to give us pleasure, but also to illustrate the many-sided phases of ait. 
Bellows, on the other hand, both in oil and aquarelle, has attempted mi- 
nute reproductions of nature; and, while sometimes suggesting the impres- 
sion of labor rather more than is consistent with breadth of effect, has 
faithfully and charmingly interpreted the idyllic side of our rural life. If 
he had not been a poet in color, we might have expected of him pastoral 
lyrics imbued with the spirit of Cowpcr or Thompson. Early study at the 
school of Antwerp, and the pursuit of genre for some years, have enabled. 
Mr. Bellows skilfully to diversify his attractive village pictures and repre- 
sentations of our noble New England elms with groups of figures. He is 
justly entitled to be called the American Birket Foster. 

It is instructive, in this connection, to observe the first landscapes of 
George Inness, which properly belong in style to the early and distinctive- 
ly American school of landscape, while his recent method has identified 
him with the later graduates of the ateliers of Paris. Samuel Colman is 
another landscape-painter whose art is identified both with this school and 
with that of the period on which we are now entering. Educated here, 
and influenced by a fine eye for color, foreign travel has broadened his 
sympathies, modified his technique, and led him to look with favor upon 
later methods. 

The landscapes of William and James Hart represent still another 
phase of our art. Both began life as apprentices to a coach-painter, but 
gradually identified themselves with the great throng of all ages who have 
become the votaries of nature. There is cleverness and dexterity in their 
work, a fine perception of the external beauty of the slopes and vales and 
woods of our land, and brilliant color; but it is sometimes marred by 
hardness of handling, and lack of juiciness or warmth of feeling; in 
other words, it is too exclusively objective, as if only the physical and 
not also the mental eye had been concerned in the painting of their 



SO ART IN AMERICA. 

works. James Hart lias of late years added cattle to his landscapes 
with excellent success, and holds a prominent position among the very 
few respectable painters of animal life whom the American art of this 
period can justly claim. 

Mr. Horace Bobbins, successful in seizing certain aspects of mountain 
scenery, with a fine feeling for atmospheric grays, and Mr. Arthur Partun, 
who very pleasingly renders trees, and some of the sober effects of our 
dim November days, although among our younger painters, justly belong 
to this period, as do also Messrs. James and George Smillie, who have been 
equally happy in water and oil colors. The former is another of our 





"SUNSET ON THE HUDSON." [SANDFORD R. G1FFORD.] 

many landscape-painters who began as engravers on steel. The later style 
of these talented brothers has been evidently modified with advantage by 
the influence of foreign technique, although they have studied wholly in 
this country; and they now display an attractive vigor and freshness in 
their landscape pieces, and a somewhat original choice of subjects. 

The style of each of the artists we have mentioned can be distinguish- 
ed at once. Individuality of expression is stamped upon the canvas of 
all ; but among them there is no one more thoroughly original than San- 
ford P. Gifford, who, if he had lived in Persia or Peru two thousand years 
ago, might well have been an enthusiastic fire- worshipper, or daily wel- 
comed the rising sun with reverent adoration. To him landscape-painting, 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 81 

whether of scenes in our own Far West, or on the legendary Hudson, or in 

the gorgeous East, has been alike the occasion for giving expression to his 
feeling for glowing atmospheric effects, for lyrics which on canvas repro- 
duce the splendor of the sunset sky. But it would be a mistake to sup- 
pose that Mr. Gilford's poetic sense has been confined to the contempla- 
tion of serene and glowing atmospheres: he has also successfully rendered 
the lazy mist, the trailing vapor of morning enmeshed in dusky woodlands 
by the silent lake. His style combines to a remarkable degree delibera- 
tion and inspiration — a happy union of the analytical and emotional ele- 
ments in art. 

The objective school of American landscape-painting has found its cul- 
minating excellence, as it seems to us, in the art of Frederick E. Church. 
In his art-life the tendencies and aims of the chief national school we 
have produced during the last half century have been typically repre- 
sented. In his works the technical weakness of this school is apparent, 
and, at the same time, its noble sympathy with nature, and its love for the 
grander aspects of the external world. It also represents the restless, un- 
satisfied genius of our people during this period, ever reaching out and 
beyond, and yearning, Venice-like, to draw to itself the spoils, the riches, 
the splendors, of the whole round globe. To our art the paintings of Mr. 
Church are what the geographic cantos of "Childe Harold" have been to 
the poesy of England, or the burning descriptions of St. Pierre and Cha- 
teaubriand to the literature of France. If such a topic is permissible in 
letters, may it not also be allowed sometimes in painting? Whether the 
one is as lofty as epic poetry, or the other as great as historical painting 
or subjective landscape, is a question which we do not need here to an- 
alyze. It is sufficient that each holds an important position ; and to cam- 
off the palm in either can only be the result of consummate genius. Yes! 
what "Childe Harold" did for the scenery of the Old World, the art of 
Church has done for that of the New. The vastness and the glory of this 
continent were yet unrevealed to us. With the enthusiasm of a Raleigh 
or a Balboa he has explored land and sea, combining the characteristics of 
the explorer and the artist. A pupil of Cole, he has carried to its full 
fruition the aspirations of his master, first gaining inspiration along the 
magical shores of the Hudson, and amidst the ideally beautiful ranges of 
the legendary Catskills. Our civilization needed exactly this form of art 
expression at this period, and the artist appeared who should teach the 

6 



S2 



AET IX AMEEICA. 



people to love beauty, and to find it among the regions which first rang 
with the axe of our pioneers. 

But, although dealing not so much with nature, as such, as with some 
of her little known and more remarkable and startling effects, there is a 
very noteworthy absence of sensationalism or staginess in the paintings of 
Church ; while, on the other hand, the somewhat too careful reproduction 
of details has not prevented them from possessing a grand massing of 
effect and a thrilling beauty and sublimity. " Cotopaxi," the "Heart of 
the Andes," or " Niagara," may transgress many rules laid down by the 
schools, but the magnificent ability with which they are represented dis- 




A COMPOSITION. [FREDERICK E. CHURCH.] 

arms criticism. Church's first painting of Niagara occupies the culminat- 
ing point in the objective art of this period of our history, executed by an 
artist who up to that time had never crossed the Atlantic, and whose mer- 
its and defects were entirely his own. 

Mr. Church's "Niagara" is doubtless familiar to many through the 
fine chromo-lithographic copy made from it ; but those who have not seen 
the original have only an incomplete idea of the grandeur of this great 
painting. It grows on acquaintance somewhat as does the cataract itself, 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. S3 

until we seem to hear even the roar of the mighty waters that rushed over 
those tremendous cliffs ages before this continent was trodden by man. 
symbolizing the endless, remorseless, and irresistible sweep of time. The 
green flood, pouring evermore into the appalling abyss veiled by mist 
wreathing up from the surging vortex below; the distant shore lined with 
foliage, touched by the burning tints of October; the rosy gray sky over- 
arching the scene, and the ethereal bow uniting heaven and earth with its 
elusive band of colors — all are there, rendered with matchless art. 

The subjects of Mr. Church's more recent works have been taken from 
the storied shores of the Mediterranean. We perceive imthem no sign of 
failing power, but more breadth and less opulence of detail. The artist 
lias treated the splendors of classic lands with the dignified reserve of 
matured strength and a higher sense of the ideal. The melancholy gran- 
deur of the Parthenon in ruins has been painted with a stately reticence in 
consonance with the character of the subject; and the magnificent compo- 
sition called the "JEgean" may well hold its own by the side of some of 
the superb Italian canvases of Turner. 

A landscape-painter who chose a range of subjects similar to those of 
Church, and accompanied him in one of his South American trips, was 
Louis R. Mignot, of South Carolina, who died in London some eight years 
ago. He was inspired by a rapturous enthusiasm alike for the tender and 
the brilliant aspects of nature, and appears to us to have been one of the 
most remarkable artists of our country. He can be justly ranked with 
the pioneers who first awoke the attention of the nation to a consciousness 
of the beauty, glory, and inexhaustible variety of the scenery of this con- 
tinent, which had fallen to them as a heritage such as no other people 
have yet acquired. Mignot was at once a fine colorist and one of the 
most skilled of our painters in the handling of materials; his was also a 
mind fired by a wide range of sympathies ; and whether it was the superb 
splendor of the tropical scenery of the Rio Baraba, in South America, the 
sublime maddening rush of iris-circled water at Niagara, or the fairy-like- 
grace, the exquisite and ethereal loveliness of new-fallen snow, he was 
equally happy in rendering the varied aspects of nature. It is greatly to 
be regretted that the most important works of this artist are owned in 
England, whither he resorted at the opening of the civil war. " Snow in 
Hyde Park," which be painted not long before his death, is one of the 
noblest productions of American landscape-painting. 



84 



ART IN AMERICA. 




"a winter scene." — [louis k. hignot.] 



The American marine art of this period has been represented by a 
number of artists, although they have been b} r no means so numerous or 
capable as the maritime character of our people would have led us to 
expect. William Bradford, by origin a Quaker, has made to himself a 
name for his enterprise in going repeatedly to Labrador to study icebergs, 
and has executed some effective compositions, which have won him fame 
at home and abroad. Some of his coast scenes are also spirited, although 
open to the charge of technical errors. Charles Temple Dix, who unfort- 
unately died young, painted some dashing, imaginative, and promising 
compositions; and Harry Brown, of Portland, has successfully rendered 
certain coast effects. But our ablest marine-painter of this period seems 
to have been James Hamilton, of Philadelphia, who was beyond question 
an artist of genius. His color was sometimes harsh and crude ; but lie 
handled pigments with mastery, and composed with the virile imagina- 
tion of an improvisatore. Errors can doubtless be found in his ships, or 
the forms of his waves; but he was inspired by a genuine enthusiasm 
for the sea, and rendered the wildest and grandest effects of old ocean 
with breadth, massiveness, and power. We have had no marine -paint- 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. go 

er about whose works there is more of the raciness and flavor of blue 
water. 

When we turn to the department of animal-painting, we discover what 
has been hitherto the weakest feature of American art, both in the num- 
ber and quality of the artists who have pursued this branch of the profes- 
sion. T. II. Hinckley at one time promised well in painting cattle and 
game, but his efforts rarely went beyond giving us Denner-like representa- 
tions of stuffed foxes with glass eyes. The hairs were all there, the color 
was well enough, although perhaps a little foxy — if one may be permitted 
the term in this connection ; but there was no life, no characterization, 
there. William Hayes showed decided ability in his representations of 
bisons and prairie-dogs and other dogs. Weak in color, he yet succeeded 
in giving spirit and character to the groups he painted, and holds among 
our animal-painters a position not dissimilar to that of Mount in genre. 

Walter M. Brackett, who has been able rarely well to enjoy the triple 




"SHIP OF 'THE ANCIENT MARINER.'" [ JAMES HAMILTON.] 

pleasure of catching, painting, and eating the same fish on a summer's 
morning by the limpid brooks of New Hampshire, has justly won a repu- 
tation as an artistic Walton. If he would but paint his rocks and trees as 



S6 ART IX AMERICA. 

cleverly as he renders the speckled monarch of the stream, his composi- 
tions would leave little to be desired. Henry C. Bispham has given us 
some spirited but sometimes badly drawn paintings of cattle and horses; 
and Colonel T. B. Thorpe, an amateur with artistic tastes, in such semi- 
humorous satires as "A Border Inquest," representing wolves sitting on 
the carcass of a buffalo, struck a vein peculiarly American in its humor, 
and carried to a high degree of excellence by William II. Beard, whose 
brother, James Beard, can also be justly ranked as an animal-painter of 
respectable attainments. Mr. Beard, although remarkably versatile, has 
made a specialty, if it may be so termed, of exposing the failings and 
foibles of our sinful humanity by the medium of animal genre. Monkeys, 
bears, goats, owls, and rabbits are in turn impressed into the benevolent 
service of taking us off, and repeating for us the old Spartan tale of the 
slave made drunk by his master as a warning to his son. Of the skill 
which Mr. Beard has exhibited in this novel line there can be no question. 
The "Dance of Silenns," the pertinacious, iterative, pragmatic ape called 
" The Bore," and " Bears on a Bender," are masterly bits of characteriza- 
tion. There is also a deal of comic satire in "The Bulls and Bears of 
Mammon's Fierce Zoology," which, with a multitude of struggling fight- 
ing figures, takes off the eccentricities of the Stock-exchange. Beard can 
justly be called, the American ^Esop. It is asserted by many that this is 
not art. The fact is that it is exceedingly difficult to draw the line, and 
to prescribe what subjects an artist shall choose. In art the result justifies 
the means. And this certainly seems as legitimate a subject for the brush 
of the artist as the graphic pictorial satires of Hogarth, or the mildly comi- 
cal genres of Erskine Nicol. 

In a previous chapter we alluded to some of the figure, historical, 
and genre painters of this period. William Mount w r as the precursor of a 
number of genre artists of more or less ability, among whom may be men- 
tioned Thomas Hicks, a pupil of Couture, and one of the first of our paint- 
ers who studied at Paris. In this admirable school Mr. Hicks became an 
excellent colorist, although of late his art has appeared to lose some of this 
quality. He has painted landscape and genre, meeting with respectable 
success in the latter, but portraiture has chiefly occupied his attention. 
His portrait of General Meade is a striking and satisfactory work. Then 
there was Richard Caton Woodville, who followed Whittredge to Diissel- 
dorf, and promised much in genre. His paintings show very decided 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 



87 



traces of German influence, but behind it all was a strung individuality 
that seemed destined to assert itself, and to place him among our fore- 
most painters. But lie died young, and (shall we not say?) happily for 
him, since little fame and less appreciation are destined to the artists 
who come ere the people are ripe for their art. George B. Flagg at one 
time promised well for our genre art, but his abilities were too precocious, 
and unfortunately the splendid opportunities he enjoyed as a pupil of All- 




" WHOO !" [WILLIAM H. BEARD.] 

ston, and as a long resident in London, do not seem to have been suffi- 
cient to give growth or permanence to his talents. 

About this time our frontier life was coming more prominently into 
view, and that picturescpie border line between civilization and barbarism 
was becoming a subject for the pen of our leading writers. Irving, Coo- 
per, and Kennedy, Street, Whittier, and Longfellow, were tuning the first 
efforts of their Muse to celebrate Indian life and border warfare in prose 
and verse, while the majestic measures of Bryant's "Prairies" seemed a 
prophetic prelude to the march of mankind toward the lands of the set- 



88 ART IN AMERICA. 

ting sun. "Evangeline," the most splendid result of our poetic literature, 
attracted not less for its magnificent generalizations of the scenery of 
the West than for the constancy of the heroine, and the artistic mind 
responded in turn to the unknown mystery and romance of that vast 
region, and gave us graphic pictures of the rude humanity which lent 
interest and sentiment to its unexplored solitudes. It is greatly to be 
regretted that the work of these pioneers in Western genre was not of 
more artistic value; from a historical point of view, too much importance 
cannot be attached to the enterprise and courage of men like Catlin, 
Deas, and Ranney, who, imbued with the spirit of adventure, identified 
themselves with Indian and border life, and rescued it from oblivion 
by their art enthusiasm, which, had it been guided, by previous train- 
ing, would have been of even greater value. As it is, they have with the 
pencil done a service for the subjects they portrayed similar to what 
Bret Harte has accomplished in giving immortality with the pen to 
the wild, picturesque, but evanescent mining scenes of the Pacific slope. 
In this connection the fact is worth recording that the important mutual 
life-insurance association called the Artists' Funding Society took its 
origin in a successful effort to contribute to the support of the family of 
Ranney after his death. 

Our historical painters of this period rarely created any works deserv- 
ing of note or remembrance. Here and there a painting like that of 
Huntington's " Republican Court" was produced, which is a graceful and 
elegant composition, and one of the best of the kind in American art. 
Peter F. Rothermel, the able portrait -painter of Philadelphia, also com- 
posed a number of historical works, of which the last is probably of most 
value. His "Battle of Gettysburg" is a bold and not ineffective repre- 
sentation of one of the critical moments in the world's history, although 
open in parts to severe criticism. J. G. Chapman, well known at one time 
as a skilful wood-engraver and genre painter, also aspired to the difficult 
field of historical painting; but it is to an artist of German extraction, 
Emmanuel Leutze, that we owe our best historical art previous to 1860, ex- 
cepting perhaps some of the compositions of Copley and West and two or 
three of the battle-pieces of Trumbull. Although born abroad, Leutze may 
be justly claimed as an American painter, for he was taken to Philadelphia 
in childhood, and remained in this country until thoroughly imbued with 
a patriotic love for the land and its history and the spirit of its institu- 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 



89 



tions; and although he subsequently passed a number of years at Dussel- 
dorf, whither he went at twenty-seven, the last ten years of his life wore 
here; here he died, and the subjects of his art were almost entirely in- 
spired by American scenes, and have become incorporated with the growth 
of our civilization. 

Leutze was a man who was cast in a large mould, capable of a grand 
enthusiasm, and aspiring to grasp soaring ideals. Although his art was 
often at fault, it makes us feel, notwithstanding, that in contemplating his 
works we are in the presence of a colossal mind which, under healthier 
influences, would have better achieved what he aspired to win. lie drew 




•'LAFAYETTE IN PRISON." [e. LEUTZE. J 

from wells of seemingly inexhaustible inspiration. He was Byronic in 
the impetus of his genius, the rugged incompleteness of his style, the mag- 
nificent fervor and rush of his fancy, the epic grandeur and energy, dash 
and daring, of his creations. It is easy to say that he was steeped in Ger- 
man conventionalism, that he pictured the impossible, that he was some- 
times harsh in his color and technique; and so he was at times, but, with 
it all, he left the impression of vast intellectual resources. 

We would not be understood as saying that all the works of Leutze are 
worthy of unqualified acceptance; we refer rather to their general char- 



90 ART IN AMERICA. 

acter. His art was very prolific, and as a pupil of Lessing and Scliadow 
it bore the unmistakable stamp of Dtisseldorf. Much of his work, par- 
taking also of the grandiose style of Kaulbach, was of a semi-decorative 
character, like the "Landing of the Norsemen," which represents two 
fresh, sturdy Scandinavian rovers stepping out of an impossible ship, bear- 
ing aloft a noble princess, and in the very act of landing snatching the 
grapes "hanging wanton to be plucked." Spirited as it is, the manifest 
absurdity of the composition as a representation of reality yet requires us 
to accept it as decorative in design. "Godiva" is a somewhat coarse 
but characteristic work of Leutze, and the "Iconoclast" one of his most 
interesting and artistic works. In America, Leutze will be remembered 
longest by his large and magnificent painting of " Washington at Prince- 
ton," his " Emigration to the West " (a decorative composition in one of 
the panels of the stairway of the Capitol at Washington), and his "Wash- 
ington Crossing the Delaware." The latter was executed at Dtisseldorf, 
and the ice was painted from an unusual mass of shattered ice floating 
down the Rhine on the breaking up of the winter. It is another illustra- 
tion of the apparent caprice with which man is treated by destiny, that 
scarcely had Leutze closed his eyes in his last sleep, at the early age of 
fifty-one, when a letter arrived from Germany bringing official tidings that 
he had just been elected to succeed Lessing as president of the Dtisseldorf 
Academy of Art. 

While we find in Leutze the qualities we have described, it cannot be 
said that he sought out any new methods of expression, or that he under- 
took to suggest the deeper and more subtle traits of human nature; he 
was content to work after the manner of the school in which he studied. 
It is to another painter (already referred to), of great intellectual resource 
and a thoroughly American discontent with the actual, that we turn for 
aspirations after a higher form of art. William Page, a native of Albany, 
who studied law, and for a time also theology, at Andover Seminary, was 
from the first biassed in favor of art. His mind presents a combination 
of the speculative and the practical, and it is the union of these antithet- 
ical qualities which has alternately aided or hindered the success of Page's 
efforts and experiments. He is deliberate rather than inspirational, guided 
by an exquisite feeling for color and an admirable sense of form, but too 
often unduly controlled by the logical and analytical faculty. Had his 
fancy only been more childlike, and been left more to the guidance of 




PORTRAIT OF A LADY. [WILLIAM PAGE. J 



AMERICAN PAINTEKS. 



93 



its own natural and correct instincts, Mr. Page's works would have oftener 
moved us by their beauty rather than by the dexterity of the technique. 
Still, it is by the aid of a few such questioning minds that art makes its 
advances, and interprets the secrets of nature. As a portrait pa inter, Page 
has placed himself among the first artists of the age. We see in his por- 
traits a dignity and repose, a grasp of character, and a harmonious rich- 
ness of color that are wonderfully impressive. In attempting to represent 
the beauty of the feminine figure Mr. Page has been influenced by great 




"the refuge." — [elihu tedder.] 



delicacy and refinement of motive, although in the celebrated painting 
of "Venus Rising from the Sea," he gave cause for much discussion as 
to the merits of his theories. 

When Page was in his prime, our literature had already become dis- 
tinguished by several writers of thoroughly original and mystically creative 
imagination, native to the soil, and drawing sustenance from native inspi- 
ration : they were Charles Brockden Brown, Judd, Hawthorne, and Poe. 
In point of originality in conceiving of scenes powerfully weird and imag- 
inative, these writers have had no superiors in this century. "With a style 



94 ART IN AMERICA. 

essentially individual, they analyzed the workings of the human heart, 
and dealt with the great problems of destiny. Their genius was cosmo- 
politan, and for all ages. Our pictorial art, in a less degree, began soon 
after to be prompted by a similar tendency. 

Most prominent among these artists whose faltering efforts have most 
distinctly articulated the language and aspirations of the soul are Elihu 
Tedder and John Lafarge. It cannot be said that either of these artists 
has yet accomplished with complete success the end he has sought; but 
their efforts have been in the right direction, and as such are highly inter- 
esting, hopeful, and suggestive. 

Mr. Vedder's early genre and landscape compositions are full of subtle 
attempts at psychology in color. Outward nature with him is but a 
means for more effectively conveying the impressions of humanity; and 
his .faces are full of vague, mystic, far-off searching after the infinite, and 
the why and the wherefore of this existence below. Since Mr. Vedder 
took up his residence permanently in Italy, he has improved in technique, 
and there is less dryness in his method of using color, as witnessed by his 
remarkable painting called a "Venetian Dancing Girl, or 'La Eegina;' " 
but he has not in recent years produced anything so marvellously imagi- 
native as his "Lair of the Sea-Serpent," or so grand and desolate as his 
"Death of Abel." The man who painted the "Lost Mind," the "Death 
of Abel," and the "Lair of the Sea-Serpent," did not need to borrow from 
the ancients — at least so far as regards forms of expression. The vast, 
solemn, appalling solitude of the primeval world, the terrific sublimity of 
its first tragedy, are rendered in Mr. Vedder's painting with the sombre 
grandeur of Dante; while as a work of imaginative art, the steel-colored 
monster reposing his gigantic folds on the dry grass of a desolate shore 
by the endless seas, is a composition of wonderful simplicity and mysteri- 
ous power, a creation of pure genius. 

Mr. Lafarge is by nature a colorist; to color, the emotional element of 
art, his sensitive nature vibrates as to well-attuned harmonies of music. 
For form he has less feeling; his drawing is often very defective, and the 
lines are hesitating, uncertain, and feeble. But we have had no artist 
since Stuart who has shown such a natural sympathy for the shades and 
modulations of chromatic effects. But, while his drawing is open to criti- 
cism, this artist is inspired by the general meaning of form, and has some- 
times produced some very weird and startling compositions entirely in 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 




CARTOON SKETCH : CHRIST AND NICODEMUS. — [JOHN LAFARGE.] 



black and white, or camaieu. But whether it be form or color, the various 
elements of art are regarded by Lafarge not so much for what they are 
as for what they suggest ; he is less concerned with the external than with 
the hidden meaning it has for the soul. It is because of his subtle way 
of regarding the beauty of this world that he has given us such thoughtful 
landscapes as " Paradise at Newport," and such exquisitely painted flowers, 
rendered with a tender harmonv of color that thrills us like a lvric of 



96 ART IN AMERICA. 

Keats or of Tennyson. It is this serious, reflective turn which has given 
a religious hue to his art, and has enabled him to succeed so well in the 
most ambitious attempt at decorative-painting vet undertaken in this coun- 
try — the frescoes of Trinity Church, in Boston ; in which, it should be 
added, he was ably assisted by Mr. Lathrop. In these compositions we see 
the results of a highly ideal and reverent nature, nourished by the most 
abundant art opportunities the age could afford. It is not difficult to 
find in them points fairly open to attack; but the promise they show is so 
hopeful a sign in our art, the success actually achieved in them in a direc- 
tion quite new in this country is so marked, that we prefer to leave to 
others any unfavorable criticism they may suggest. 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 9*1 



IV. 

AMERICAN PAINTERS. 

1828-1878. 

fTMIE discovery of the gold mines of California was a signal for enter- 
-*- prise, daring, and achievement, not only to our commerce and the 
thrift of our shifting millions of uneasy settlers, but also to the literature 
and landscape-art of the United States. " To the kingdom of the west 
wind" hied artist and author alike; and the epic of the settlement of 
California, of the scaling of the Rocky Mountains, of the glory of the 
Columbia River, and the stupendous horrors of the Yellowstone was pict- 
ured on the canvas of the artist. Taylor and Scott conquered the Pacific 
slope; Fremont pointed out the pathway over the swelling ranges of the 
Sierras; and our painters revealed to us the matchless splendor of a 
scenery which shall arouse increasing astonishment and reverential awe 
and rapture in the hearts of generations yet to be. In the gratitude we 
owe to these landscape-painters who dared, discovered, and delineated for 
us the scenery of which we were hitherto the ignorant possessors, criticism 
is almost left in abeyance, for the service done the people has been a 
double one — in leading them to the observation of paintings, and inform- 
ing them of the attractions of a little known possession. If the art of 
these paintings of our Western scenery had been in all respects equal to 
the subject, the country would have been rich indeed. Among the artist 
explorers to whom we are most indebted, Messrs. Bierstadt, Hill, and Mo- 
ran are the most famous. The former, by his great composition entitled 
the "Rocky Mountains," threw the people into an ecstasy of delight, which 
at this time it is difficult to understand, and bounded at one step to 
celebrity. 

Albert Bierstadt is a native of Diisseldorf, but came to this country in 
infancy. Subsequently he studied at Diisseldorf and Rome. On return- 
ing to America, he accompanied the exploring expedition of General Lan- 

7 



98 ART IN AMERICA. 

der that went over the plains in 1S5S. Fitz Hugh Ludlow, the well- 
known litterateur, was associated with him in a subsequent trip, and 
several graphic articles in which he afterward described the journey un- 
doubtedly helped to bring Mr. Bierstadt into notice. 

The "Rocky Mountains" is not the representation of an actual scene, 
but a typical composition, and, thus regarded, is an interesting work, al- 
though it seems to us somewhat too theatrical, and scarcely true in some 
of the details. Local truth is desirable in topographical art, although of 
quite secondary importance in compositions of a more ideal character. 
Since then this artist has executed a number of similarly ambitious paint- 
ings of our Western scenery, including a colossal painting of the gorge of 
the Yosemite Valley. All of them are characterized by boldness of treat- 
ment, but sometimes they are crude in color and out of tone. Of these 
we prefer, as least sensational and most artistically correct, the painting of 
a storm on Mount Rosalie. Bierstadt's smaller California scenes are gen- 
erally more valuable than his large ones for artistic quality: one of the 
best compositions we have seen from his easel is a war sketch representing 
Federal sharp-shooters on the crest of a hill behind some trees. This is 
an excellent piece of work, fresh, original, and quite free from the Diissel- 
dorf taint; and confirms us in the opinion that Mr. Bierstadt is naturally 
an artist of great ability and large resources, and might easily have main- 
tained a reputation as such if he had not grafted on the sensationalism of 
Diisseldorf a greater ambition for notoriety and money than for success 
in pure art. 

Some of the qualities we have learned to look fur in vain in the can- 
vases of Bierstadt Ave find emphasized in the paintings of Thomas Hill, 
who succeeded him as court painter to the monarch of the Rocky Moun- 
tains. Hill began life as a coach - painter at Taunton, Massachusetts. 
After deciding on a professional art career, he visited Europe, and bene- 
fited by observation in foreign studios, especiall} 7 of France, although his 
style is essentially his own. His method of using pigments is sometimes 
open to the accusation of hardness; there is too often a lack of juiciness — 
a dryness that seems to remind us of paint rather than atmosphere, which 
may be owing to the fact, as I have been informed, that he uses little or 
no oil in going over a painting the second time. But Mr. Hill is a good 
colorist, bold and massive in his effects, and a very careful, conscientious 
student of nature. He has been happy in the rendering of wood interiors, 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 



99 




IS 

ml - 





z . 

Kail ' tj ^ >- - "~ 



fin® 



Mi 



"view on the kern river.'' — [a. bierstadt.] 

as, for example, bits from the Forest of Fontainebleau. One of his most 
remarkable New England landscapes represents the avalanche in the Notch 
of the White Mountains, which was attended with such disastrous results 
to the dwellers in the valley. Bnt Mr. Hill will be identified in future 
with California, where he has become a resident, and has devoted his ener- 
gies to painting some of the magnificent scenery of that marvellous region, 
where the roar of the whirlwind and the roll of the thunder reverberate 
like the tread of the countless millions who evermore march to the west- 
ward. As he sat on the edge of the precipice, the forerunner of coming 



100 



ART IN AMERICA. 



ages, and painted the sublime, solitary depths of the Yosemite, did the 
artist realize that with every stroke of the brush he was aiding the ad- 
vance guard of civilization, and driving away the desolation which gave 
additional grandeur to one of the most extraordinary spots on the planet? 
In his great painting of the Yosemite he seems to have been inspired by a 
reverential spirit ; he has taken no liberties with his subject, but has en- 
deavored with admirable art to convey a correct impression of the scene ; 
and the work may be justly ranked with the best examples of the Ameri- 
can school of landscape-painting. 

The first fever of the California rush had subsided when the uneasy 
explorer again stirred the enthusiasm of adventurous artists by thrilling 
descriptions of the Yellowstone River, its Tartarean gorges, and the lurid 
splendor of its sulphurous cliffs and steaming geysers. Once more the 
landscape artist of the country was moved to go forth and make known 




THE YOSEMITE." [THOMAS HIEL.] 



to us those unrevealed wonders; and Thomas Moran, "taking his life 
in his hands," in the language of religious cant, aspired to capture the 
bouquet, the first bloom, from this newly-opened draught of inspiration. 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 103 

We all know the result. Who has not seen his splendid painting of the 
"Gorge of the Yellowstone," now in the Capitol at Washington? Grant- 
ing the fitness of the subject for art, it can be frankly conceded that this 
is one of the best paintings of the sort yet produced. The vivid local col- 
ors of the rocks, which there is no reason to doubt have been faithfully 
rendered — for Mi'. Moran is a careful and indefatigable student of certain 
phases of nature — appear, however, to give such works a sensational effect. 

This seems to us to be the most valuable of the numerous paintings of 
Western subjects produced by this artist. It would be a mistake, how- 
ever, to judge him wholly by the more ambitious compositions suggested 
by tropical or Western scenery. Some of his ideal paintings are very 
clever, and show us an ardent student of nature, and a mind inspired by a 
fervid imagination. But while conceding thus much to the talents of this 
artist — who belongs to an artistic familj 7 , two of his brothers being also 
well-known painters, one in marine, the other in cattle painting — we can 
not accord him great original powers. He has studied the technique of 
his calling most carefully, and has bestowed great attention to the meth- 
ods of several celebrated artists ; but we are too often conscious, in look- 
ing at his works, that his style has leaned upon that of certain favorite 
painters. There is great cleverness, but little genius, apparent in the 
landscapes of Mr. Moran, for the imitative faculty has been too much 
for him. 

Contemporary with our school of grand nature, if we may so call it, 
and represented by artists native in thought and education, we find evi- 
dences of another beginning to assert itself, of altogether a different 
character. The former deals wholly with externals, and the subject is 
the first end sought ; it concerns itself altogether with objects, and not 
with any ulterior thoughts which they may suggest to the sensitive imag- 
ination. The latter, on the other hand, searches out the mystery in nature. 
and analyzes its human aspects. It is the vague suggestions seen in hills 
and skies, in sere woods and lonely waters, and moorlands fading away into 
eternity — it is their symbolism and sympathy with the soul that an artist 
like Mr. Jervis M'Entee seeks to represent on canvas. This is. in a word. 
the subjective art to which we have already alluded. To him the voice of 
nature is an elegy ; the fall of the leaves in October suggests the passing 
away of men to the grave in a countless and endless procession : and 
whenever he introduces the agency of man into his pictures, it is as if he 



104 



ART IN AMERICA. 



■were fighting with an unseen and remorseless destiny. Exquisitely poetic 
and beautiful are the autumnal scenes of this artist, the reaches of russet 
woodlands, the expanses of skurrying clouds, gray, melancholy, wild. His 
art sings in a low minor key that finds response in the heart of multitudes 
who have suffered, to whom the world has been a battle-field, where the 



i J 




LANDSCAPE. [jERVIS II'ENTEE.] 



losses have outweighed the gains, and have left them gazing into the mys- 
terious future like one who at midnight stands on the brink of a tremen- 
dous abyss into which he must be hurled, but knows not what are the 
shuddering possibilities that await the inevitable plunge. 

A young artist of Boston died in Syria, four years ago, at the early age 
of twenty-five, before he had acquired more than local repute, who gave 
promise of standing among the foremost of American landscape-painters. 
I refer to A. P. Close. Certainly no artist we have produced has evinced 
more abundant signs of genius at so early an age. Nor was he wholly a 
landscape-painter; the figure was also one aim of his art, and it was in 
the combination of the two that he excelled. lie also had an eye for 
color that has not been too common in our art ; and, wholly untaught, 
expressed his moods and fancies with a force that, even in its immaturity, 
suggested the master. But the one point in which he surpassed most of 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 



105 



our artists up to this time was in the singular and inexhaustible activity 
of the imaginative faculty. It is strange that one so young should have 
so early manifested in his art a serious, almost morbid, view of life. It 
may have been because he found himself, before the age of twenty, forced 
to provide for a fatherless family, and to devote the greater part of his 
energies to what was to him the uncongenial work of drawing on wood. 

Less subjective and morbid, but moved by a similar feeling for the 
suggestions of nature, A. II. Wyant displays a sympathy with scenery 
and a masterful skill in reaching subtle effects which place him among 
the first landscape-painters of the age. In the suggestive rendering of 
space and color, of the manifold phases of a bit of waste land, or moun- 
tain glen, or sedgy brook -side, simple enough at first sight, but fall 
of an infinitude of unobtrusive beauty, he works with the magic of a high- 
priest of nature; his style is broad in effect, without being slovenly and 
careless, and gives a multitude of details while really dealing chiefly with 




" COUNTY KERRY." [a. H. WYANT.] 



one central and prevailing idea. Mr. Wy ant's work occasionally shows 
traces of foreign influences; but he is an artist of too much original power 
to be under any necessity to stunt himself by the imitation of the style of 
any other artist, however great. 



106 ART IN AMERICA. 

Homer Martin is another painter who views nature for the sentiment 
it suggests, while he is impressed chiefly by color and light; for form he 
seems to have less feeling. But he is a lyrist with the brush, and his sym- 
pathy with certain aspects of nature is akin to idolatry. With a few in- 
tense and telling strokes, he brings before us the splendors of sunset or 
the quietude of twilight, the gray vapors of morning creeping over dank 
woodlands or the sublime pathos of lonely sands, haunted by wild fowl 
and beaten by the hollow seas. But we have no painter whose art is so 
unequal : in all his works there is absolute freedom, freshness, and origi- 
nality ; his scheme of color is altogether his own, full of luminousness and 
purity ; but he is weak in technique, aud thus he alternately startles us 
by the brilliance, beauty, and suggestiveness of one painting, and the pal- 
pable failure to reach the desired end in another. However, this very ir- 
regularity in achievement shows that he is subject to inspirations, and 
thus partakes of the character of genius, which, if it were of a higher 
order, would be more often successful in its attempts. 

In the works of these painters we see abundant reason to believe in the 
permanent vitality of American landscape art, and evidence that it is not 
inclined to run in a conventional groove. Just so long as the artists who 
represent it continue to assert their individuality with such nerve and 
keen perception of the essential truths of nature, art is in a healthy and 
progressive condition. If further evidence of this were needed, we might 
cite the landscapes of J. Appleton Brown, who, after a rather discour- 
aging servitude to Corot, is at last beginning to show ns the reserve power 
of which he is capable when he is more concerned with nature than with 
imitating the style and thoughts of another. Ernest Longfellow, a son 
of the poet, is another exemplar of the sturdy and healthful personality 
which everywhere crops out in our landscape art. While it cannot be 
said that his paintings suggest greatness, they breathe a true spirit, and 
possess a purity of color that is very attractive. 

D. W. C. Boutelle, long resident at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and 
rarely exhibiting in public in late years, is well known by such works as 
" The Trout Brook Shower" and engravings of other paintings by him, 
as an artist of originality and force, who seems to combine in his style 
some of the best traits of the American School of landscape-painting. 

E. M. Bannister, of Providence, is also a man of genius. In the mat- 
ter of drawing he is weak ; but, although he has never been abroad, we 




"THE ADIRONDACK^." [ HOMER MARTIN.] 






AMERICAN PAINTERS. 



109 



recognize in his treatment of masses, and the brilliance of his method of 
managing light and color, the progressive transition through which our 
landscape art is passing, even when it does not pay allegiance to foreign 
influences. 

Our marine art of the last fifteen years has shown that the illimitable 
aspects of the sea are also receiving increased attention, and are calling 




A LANDSCAPE. — [j. W. CASILEAR,] 



forth some of the best art talent of the country. It may be partly due to 
the advent of M. F. H. De Haas, who came here from Holland already 
an accomplished artist, who had done so well in his native land as to be 
appointed court painter to the queen. An artist of brilliant parts, al- 
though sometimes inclined to sensationalism, he has undoubtedly created 
some splendid compositions ; and his influence must have been of decided 



110 ART IN AMERICA. 

importance during this period. While he has been working in New York, 
two marine painters of Boston have also executed some striking and beau- 
tiful works. I refer to John E. C. Petersen and William E. Norton. 
The former died young, in 1876. He was by birth a Dane, and in per- 
sonal appearance a viking: tall, handsome, tawny - haired, with a clear, 
sharp blue eye, and a bearing that reminded one of an admiral on the 
quarter-deck of his frigate swooping down with flying sheets across the 
enemy's bow and pouring in a raking fire. Those who have seen him will 
never forget the grand figure of Petersen, the very impersonation of a son 
of the sea. When he first began to paint in Boston his pictures were 
weak in color and rude in drawing. But he improved with marvellous 
rapidity, and at the time of his death had few peers in marine art. Every 
inch a sailor, to him a ship was no clumsy mass laid awkwardly on the 
top of the water, as too many painters represent it, but a thing of life, 
with an individuality of its own, graceful as a queen, and riding the waves 
like a swan. "Making Sail after a Storm," representing a clipper ship 
shaking out her top-sails in the gray gloom that succeeds a storm, and 
rising massively but easily against the sky' on the crest of the weltering 
seas, is a very strong picture. So also is his "After the Collision," and 
"A Ship Running before a Squall." When shall we see his like again? 

Mr. Norton began life as a house-painter, and is related to a family 
of ship-builders. He has himself made several voyages before the mast, 
and is therefore well equipped, so far as observation goes. He has 
painted many works, sometimes with more rapidity than comports with 
artistic success; and his style is occasionally hard, mannered, and mechan- 
ical. But he is an enthusiast for his art, and sometimes a happy inspi- 
ration enables him to turn off a painting that entitles him to a high rank 
among the marine painters of the age. He has been most happy in quiet 
effects and fog scenes, and a composition called the " Fog-Horn," repre- 
senting two men in a dory blowing a horn to warn away a steamer that 
is stealthily approaching them out of the fog, is a very interesting work. 
" Crossing the Grand Banks" is the title of another painting by this artist, 
in which the luminous haze of a midday fog and a large ship threading 
her way through a fleet of fishing-schooners, are rendered with a truth of 
color and majesty of form that give this work an important position in 
contemporary American art. 

Inferior to these artists as a draughtsman or in knowledge of ships, 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 



Ill 



Arthur Quartley has, however, won a rapid and deserved reputation for 
coast scenes and effects of shimmering light on still water. Prettiness 
rather than beauty is sometimes too evident in his work; but he com- 
poses with decided originality, showing a real passion for the effects after 





■.■.■..■■■■ 




"SHIP ASHORE." [M. F. H. DE HAAS.] 



which he strives, and his skies are often very strong. A " Storm off the 
Isles of Shoals" is one of his most important compositions. Mr. Lansil, 
of Boston, seems to be practically ignorant of the first principles of draw- 
ing and perspective, but he has shown a feeling for color and light, and 
we have at present few artists who equal him in painting still harbor 
scenes, marbled with reflections wavering on a glass} 7 surface. Among 
our more clever coast painters we cannot omit the mention of A. T. 
Bricher, who renders certain familiar scenes of the Atlantic shore with 
much realistic force, but little feeling for the ideal. J. C. Nicoll seems 
to show more promise in this direction. The color and technique of his 
pictures are very clever and interesting, and well illustrate the sea as it 
looks to a landsman from terra Jirma. Both of these artists have painted 
extensively in aquarelle, in which medium they have achieved some im- 
portant results; which may justly be added regarding the marine paint- 
ings of F. A. Silva. As a water- colorist Mr. Nicoll is not excelled bv 



112 ART IN AMERICA. 

any of our artists now concerned with coast scenes ; and some of his land- 
scapes in aquarelle sometimes rival his marines. What we observe in 
most of our marine-painters, however, is weakness in the matter of origi- 
nal composition. One would think that no object in nature would stimu- 
late the imagination and expand the mind more than the sea. But it does 
not seem to have that effect in our marine art as yet, excepting here and 
there a solitary instance. 

No fact better attests the active and prosperous character of American 
art than the rapid success which the culture of water-colors lias achieved 
among us. In 1S65 a collection of English water- color paintings was 
brought to this country, and exhibited in New York. It attracted much 
attention ; and although a few artists, like Messrs. Parsons and Falconer, 
had already used this medium here, generally as amateurs, this seems to 
have been the first occasion that stimulated our artists to follow the art 
of water -color painting seriously. A societ} 7 , headed by such men as 
Messrs. Samuel Colman, G. Burling, well known notwithstanding his early 




"A FOGGY MORNING." [W. E. NORTON.] 

death, as a painter of game birds, J. M. Falconer, and H. Swain Gilford, 
was formed within a year; Mr. Colman was the first president, and the 
first annual exhibition was held in the halls of the Academy of Design 
in 1S67. Twelve exhibitions have now been held, and Messrs. James 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 113 

Smillie and T. W. "Wood have in turn succeeded Mr. Colrnan in the pres- 
idency. A numerous school of artists has sprung up, finding expression 
wholly in water-colors, like Miss Susan Hale or Henry Farrar, the able 
landscape-painter; while many of our leading artists in landscape and 
genre have learned in this short period to work with equal success in 
aquarelle and oil. The later exhibitions have been characterized by an 
individualit} 7 and strength that compare most favorably with the exhibi- 
tions of the older societies of London. 

Another interesting feature of the last part of the period under con- 
sideration is the increasing attention bestowed on the drawing of the fig- 
ure. The number of genre artists lias notably increased; and the quality 
of their work has, on the whole, been on a higher plane. The war gave 
an impetus to this department, with its many sad or comic situations, and 
the increasing immigration of the peasantry of Europe, and the growing 
variety of our national types and street scenes, have all contributed to 
attract and stimulate the artistic eye and fancy. To mention all the 
artists among us who have, especially of late, achieved more or less success 
in this line, would be to enumerate a long catalogue, and we must content 
ourselves with the brief mention of a few who seem, perhaps, to be the 
most noteworthy, and, at the same time, indigenous in their style. 

J. B. Irving, who has but recently passed away, executed some very 
clever cabinet compositions, delicately drawn and painted, somewhat in the 
modern French style, generally interiors, with figures in old-time costume. 
A very favorable specimen of his work is represented in a painting enti- 
tled " The End of the Game." B. F. Mayer, of Annapolis, has also de- 
voted himself to a similar class of subjects successfully. He is, however, 
very versatile, and gives us at will a gentleman in Louis Quatorze costume, 
elaborate! j T painted, or a bluff tar on the forecastle on the lookout, or aloft 
tarring down the rigging, or a religious ceremonial in the wigwams of the 
North-west, Marcus Waterman, of Providence, has displayed much clash 
in genre combined with landscape, and is fresh and vigorous in style; 
while such' a carefully executed work as his "Gulliver at Lillipnt" is 
highly creditable to our art. J. W. Champney studied abroad under 
Frere, and also at Antwerp, and is one of the most broad-minded of our 
younger artists; indeed, it is refreshing to meet an artist so unbiassed by 
prejudice. His foreign studies have in no wise narrowed his intellectual 
sympathies. His small genre compositions, especially of child life, often 



114 



ART IN AMERICA. 



together with landscape, have been carefully finished — latterly with an 
especial regard to the values. Professor John F. Weir, who comes of an 
artistic family, and is Superintendent of the Academy of Art at New 




A MARINE. [ARTHUR QUARTLEY.] 

Haven, has shown capacity and nerve in his well-known painting called 
"Forging the Shaft," forcibly representing one of the most striking inci- 
dents in a foundry ; and A. W. Willard, of Cincinnati, has struck out in a 
similar vein. Energy of action, and an effort after effect verging on exag- 
geration and caricature, are the characteristics of the style with which he 
has attempted such novel compositions as "Yankee Doodle" and "Jim 
Bludsoe." They suggest in color the literature of Artemns Ward and 
Walt Whitman. At the same time, we recognize in such thorough indi- 
viduality a very promising attempt to assert the possibilities of certain 
phases of our national genre. These traits have been treated with less 
daring but with more artistic success by two of our best -known genre 
painters — T. W. Wood and J. G. Brown. Mr. Wood, who is president of 
the Water- color Society, and employs both oil and water colors, spent 
several of the first years of his career at the South, and discovered of what 
importance our colored citizens might prove in our art — their squalor, 
picturesqueness, broad and kindly humor, and the pathos which has in- 
vested their fate with unusual interest. This artist's first successful vent- 
ure in genre was with a painting of a quaint old negro at Baltimore; and 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 115 

since then he lias given ns many characteristic compositions suggested by 
the lot of the slave, although he has not confined himself to this subject, 
but has also picked up excellent subjects among the newsboys in our 
streets, and amidst the homespun scenes of rural life. Mr. Wood's style 
is notable for chiar-oscuro, and his drawing is generally careful, correct, 
and forcible, and his compositions harmonious. 

Mr. Brown has also found that success and fame in genre can be ob- 
tained without going abroad to seek for subjects. To him the gamins of 
our cities are as artistically attractive as those of Paris, and a girl wander- 
ing by our sea-shore as winsome as if on the beach at Nice or Scheve- 
ningen, and an old fisherman at Grand Menan as pictorial as if he were 
under the cliffs at Etretat. Fault is sometimes found with the fact that 
the street lads painted by Mr. Brown have always washed their faces be- 
fore posing, which is according to the commands of St. Paul, but not of 
art canons, if we accept Mr. Ruskin's dictum regarding the artistic value 
of dirt. Bating this apparently trifling difficulty, however, it must be 
admitted that he often offers ns a very characteristic and successful bit of 
genre. Gilbert Gaul and J. Burns, pupils of Mr. Brown, merit a word of 
praise in this connection, for giving us reason to hope in time for some 
satisfactory work from their easels. 

Child life finds a warm friend and delineator in S. J. Guy, who 
lias made many friends by the kindly way in which he has treated the 
simple pathos and humor of childhood. lie is an admirable draughtsman, 
and finishes his work with great nicety — sometimes to a degree that seems 
to rob the picture of some of its freshness and piquancy ; but it cannot be 
denied that Mr. Guy has often struck a chord in the popular heart, not 
merely by his choice of subjects, but by legitimately earned success in his 
art as well. Scenes of domestic life have also been treated sometimes 
very interestingly by Messrs. B. F. Reinhart, Ehninger, Blauvelt, Satterlee, 
Howland, Wilmarth, and Virgil Williams. Oliver J. Lay, although a slow. 
careful artist, has executed some thoughtful and refined in-door scenes, 
taken from domestic life, which show a thorough appreciation of the fact 
that art, for itself alone, is the only aim the true artist should pursue. 
E. L. Henry surprises one by the elaboration of his work, and is open to 
the charge of crudeness in color and hardness in outline ; but occasionally 
he gives us a well-balanced composition, like the beach scene, with horses 
and a carrv-all in the foreground, entitled " Waiting for the Bathers.'' 



116 



ART IN AMERICA. 




"arguing the question." — [t. w. wood.] 



But it is in the works of Messrs. Eastman Johnson and Winslow Ho- 
mer that we find the most successful rendering of American genre of the 
present day as distinguished from that which bears unmistakable evi- 
dence of foreign inspiration. Mr. Johnson, as a student at Diisseldorf and 
other art centres of Europe, might be expected to show the fact in his 
art; but, instead of doing so, we have no painter who has a more individ- 
ual style. There is uncertainty in his drawing sometimes, but his color 
and composition are generally excellent, and the choice of subjects are at 
the same time popular and artistic. We have had no painter since Mount 
who has done more to elevate the character of genre art in the commu- 
nity. Successful in portraiture and ideal heads, Mr. Johnson has achieved 
his best efforts in the homely scenes of rustic negro life, or from a thor- 
ough sympathy with the simplicity and beauty of childhood. ISone who 
have seen his painting called the " Old Stage-Coach," representing a rol- 
licking group of boys and girls playing on the rusty wreck of an aban- 
doned mail-carriage, can ever doubt again the possibilities of genre art in 
this country, although some of his simpler compositions are more to our 
liking. There is, however, nothing startling or especially novel in the 
style of Mr. Johnson. It is quiet and unsensational. 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 117 

It is to the eccentric and altogether original compositions of Winslow 
Homer that we turn for a more decided expression of the growing wea- 
riness of our people with the conventional, and a vague yearning after an 
original form of art speech. The freshness, the crudity, and the solid 
worth of American civilization are well typified in the thoroughly native 
art of Mr. Homer. No artist has shown more versatility and inventive- 
ness in choice of subject, and greater impatience with accepted methods. 
Impatience, irritability, is written upon all his works — he is evidently 
striving after the unknown. But the key-note of his art seems to be a 
realistic endeavor to place man and nature, landscape and genre, in har- 
monious juxtaposition; never one alone, but both aiding each other, they 
are ever the themes of his brush. His figures are often stiff or posed in 
awkward attitudes, and yet they always arrest the attention, fur they are 
inspired b} T an active, restless brain, that is undoubtedly moved by the im- 
pulse of genius. It is the values, or true relations of objects as they actu- 
ally appear in nature, that this artist also seeks to render; while in his 
reach after striking subjects or compositions he not rarely borders on the 
sensational. But in some of his masterly water-color sketches, which are 
almost impressionist in treatment, or such more finished works as "The 
Cotton Pickers," a scene from Southern plantation life, Mr. Homer asserts 
his right to be considered the founder of a new school of genre paint- 
ing. The repose which is lacking in his style at present may come to 
him later, or be grafted upon it by those who come after him. 

George Fuller, of Boston, is another artist in whose works we see an 
additional proof of the growing importance attached to the painting of 
the figure in our art. His paintings indicate the presence among us of a 
vigorous, original personality, that is, of a genius striving for utterance. 
They are incomplete, rarely altogether satisfactory ; but we feel, in the 
presence of such a subtle, suggestive, mysterious composition as the "Rom- 
many Girl," vaguely thrilling us with the deep meaning of her weirdly 
glancing eyes, and weaving a mystic spell over our fancy, that a mind 
akin to that of Hawthorne is here striving for utterance, and unconsciously 
infusing new vitality into our genre art. 

As an influence in the same direction, the compositions of William 
Magrath command sincere attention. It is not so many years ago since he 
was painting signs in New York, and now we see him one of the strongest 
artists in genre on this side of the Atlantic. Mr. Magrath generally paints 



118 



ART IN AxMERICA. 



single figures, associated with rural life — a milkmaid, or a farmer. Nat- 
urally there is inequality in the results achieved, and sometimes manifest 
weakness. But we note a constant progress in the quality of his art, and 
an evidence of imagination which has been unfortunately too rare in 
American genre since the days of William Mount. By this we mean the 



■ili, i p! , 

' ' ''liBIIilDSllllI 

1. 1 1 : ' l'-l ■■' ■■ I '-■'■■■I'iLi I I'll) l! ! i , 

iiii 1 , 1 ,; '!j8 

,.' l Si:ri 1 .i l iiJ; l i l iii,h,:, 1 ;, 

liiK:fS' : ", i'l'il 

■MM 




" THE ROSE." [B. F. MATER.] 

identification of the artist with his subject, which renders it dramatic, and 
inspires it with that touch of nature that makes the whole world kin. In 
this respect he occasionally suggests the inimitable humanity which is the 
crowning excellence of the paintings of Jean Francois Millet. 

It is with additional pleasure that we note the works of some of our 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 119 

more recent native genre artists, because we see indicated in them a grow- 
ing perception of the fact that abundant subjects may be found at our 
own doors to occupy the pencil of the ablest minds. It is not uncommon 
to hear young artists who have studied in the ateliers of Paris and Mu- 
nich, and who have returned here to work, complaining that they find no 
sources of inspiration here, no subjects to paint at home. This dearth of 
subjects certainly would be a very grave obstacle to the ultimate develop- 
ment of a great American school of art, if it actually existed. But on 
examining the question, it seems to us that the difficulty lies not in the 
lack of subjects, but in the way the artist has learned to look at things, 
and the range of sympathies to which he has become accustomed by his 
foreign experiences. 

The artist who is the man of his time and his country never yet lacked 
material for inspiration in the e very-day life and every-day objects around 
him. Goethe has said that the truest poetry is that woven out of the sug- 
gestions gained from simple things. There has never yet been such a 
state of society or such an order of scenery that the artist who was in 
sympathy with it could not find some poetry, some color, some form or 
light or shade in it that would stir the finer elements of his genius, stim- 
ulate his fancy, and arouse his inventive powers. Some quality of beauty 
is there, concealed like the water in the rock ; the magician comes whose 
rod can evoke the imprisoned element, and others then see what he had 
first seen. 

As we stroll, for example, through the streets and squares of Xew 
York's metropolis, by its teeming wharves, and among its dilapidated ave- 
nues of trade, we are astounded to think that any one could ever look on 
this seething mass of humanity, these various types of man, and the vari- 
ous structures he has erected here, and find in them no inspiration for his 
brush or his pen. What if there are no feluccas or painted sails in our 
harbor; one has but to cross the river on the ferry-boat at sunrise or sun- 
set to see wonderful picturesqueness and beauty in our sloops and schoon- 
ers, our shipping thronging the piers, all smitten by the glory of the rosy 
light, or over-canopied by scowling gray masses of storm-driven scud. 

Or if one saunters up our streets and gazes on the long vista of Broad- 
way toward nightfall, as the lazy mist gradually broods over the roofs and 
delicately tones and softens the receding rows of buildings, he shall see 
effects almost as entrancing and poetic as those which charm the enthu- 



120 



ART IX AMERICA. 



siast who beholds the sun, a crimson disk, couching in a gray bank of 
smoke at the end of the boulevards of Paris, on an evening in October. 

Is there nothing picturesque and artistic in the Italian fruit venders at 
the street corners, especially when after dark they light their smoking 
torches, that waver with ruddy glow over brilliant masses of oranges and 
apples ? 

There is yet another scene which we often encounter, especially early 
in the morning, at a time when perhaps most artists are yet wrapped in 
dreams. We refer to the groups of horses led through the streets to the 
horse-market. Un trimmed, unshorn, massively built, and marching in files 




*3$&rr* 



WBWifla 



DRESS PARADE." [j. G. BROWN.] 



by fours and fives with clanging tread, sometimes thirty or forty together, 
they present a stirring and powerful effect, which would thrill a Bonheur 
or a Schreyer. Why have none of our artists attempted to paint them ? 
Have we none with the knowledge or the power to render the subject 
with the vigor it demands ? 

No, we lack not subjects for those who know how to see them ; while 
nothing is more certain than the truth that a national art can only be 
founded and sustained by those who are wholly in sympathy with the 
influences of the land whose art they are aiding to establish. Those who 
are familiar with American art will easilv recall a number of our artists, 




" A BED-TIME STORY." [s. J. GUY.] 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 



123 




THE MOTHER. [EASTMAN JOHNSON.] 

educated both at home and abroad, who have no difficulty in finding mate- 
rial around home, and at the same time take the lead among us in point 
of artistic strength. 

While indicating, however, some of the many subjects which address 
one at every turn in our land, and render it unnecessary for artists to go 
abroad for a supply of fuel for their fancy, we would not, on the other 
hand, imply that an artist should, in order to be an exponent or leader of 
a native art, be confined exclusively to one class of subjects. Although it 
is one of the most remarkable and indisputable laws in literature and art 
that those who are identified with nature and human nature, as it appeal's 
in their native country, are at the same time most cosmopolitan, still it is, 
after all, not so much in the subjects as in the treatment that the individ- 



121 



AET IN AMERICA. 



uality of a national art is best demonstrated. It is when the artist is so 
thoroughly imbued with the spirit of the institutions of his native land 
that it appears in his art, whatever be the subject — it is then that he is 
most national. We hear a great deal about the French school and the 
English school ; but it is not because each school finds its subjects invari- 
ably at home that it possesses an individuality of its own, but because we 
see unconsciously reflected in it the influences of the land that gave it 
birth. For this reason, if an English and a French painter shall each take 
the same scene, and that a wholly foreign one, say an Oriental group, al- 
though the subject be a foreign subject and identical in each canvas, you 
can discern at once that one picture is English, the other French in treat- 
ment. Each artist has stamped upon his work the impression of the influ- 
ences of the people to which lie belongs. 

Patriotism, a wholesome enthusiasm for one's own country, seems, then, 
in some occult way to lie at the basis of a native art, and native art found- 
ed on knowledge is therefore always the truest art ; while the artist who is 
thus inspired will generally find material enough to call forth his aesthetic 
yearnings and arouse his creative faculties at his own door. 




SAIL-BOAT. — [WINSLOW HOMER.] 



In passing from genre to our later portraiture we do not find the same 
proportionate activity and intelligent progress that we see in other depart- 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 125 

ments of our art, although some creditable painters in this department can 
be mentioned. Harvey A. Young, of Boston, has shown a good eye for 
color, and seizes a likeness in a manner that is artistically satisfactory, 
while he does not so often grasp the character -of the sitter as his exter- 
nal traits. Mr. Custer, of the same city, charmingly renders the infantile 
beauty of childhood, its merry blue eyes, the dimpled roses of the cheeks, 
and the flaxen curls that ripple around the shoulders. There is, however, 
too much sameness in his work — a too apparent tendency to mannerism. 
Mrs. Henry Peters Grey has a faculty of making a pleasing likeness. She 
has executed some portrait plaques in majolica that are remarkable evi- 
dences of the progress ceramic art is now making in the United States. 
Mrs. Loop is one of our successful portrait-painters. Her works are not 
strikingly original, but they are harmonious in tone and color, and poetical 
in treatment. Henry A. Loop has also executed some pleasing portraits 
and ideal compositions; of the latter, his "Echo" is perhaps the most suc- 
cessful rendering of female beauty he has attempted. George II. Story 
should be included among the most important portrait- painters of this 
period. His work is characterized by vigor of style and pleasing color; 
he seizes a likeness without any uncertainty in technique. His genre 
compositions and ideal heads are also inspired by a refined taste and cor- 
rect perception of the principles of art. William Henry Furness, of Phil- 
adelphia, who died in 1867, just as he reached his prime, was allied in 
genius to the great masters of portraiture of the early stages of our art. 
He matured slowly. His first efforts showed only small promise; but he 
had the inestimable quality of growth, and has been equalled by few of 
our painters in the study and rendering of character. When he had a 
sitter he would give days to a preliminary and exhaustive study of his 
mental and moral traits. 

In Darius Cobb, of Boston, great earnestness is apparent in the pursuit 
of art, together with an exalted opinion of what should be the aims of 
aesthetic culture.' Mr. Cobb has attempted sculpture, monumental art, por- 
traiture, and the painting of religious compositions. We consider it a 
promising sign to see an artist of such energy seeking to exalt the charac- 
ter of his pursuit. His works seem, however, to show the lack of a sys- 
tematic course of training in the rudiments of technique; but in such 
strong and characteristic portraits as that of Itufus Choate he has exhib- 
ited decided ability. 



126 



ART IN AMERICA. 



The historic art of the period has been neither prolific nor attractive, 
with a few exceptions. The late war has given rise to some important 
works, like Winslow Homer's notable "Prisoners to the Front;" and Ju- 
lian Scott has been measurably successful in such paintings as " In the 




"THE SCOUT." [WORDSWORTH THOMPSON.] 



Cornfield at Antietam," representing a charge in that memorable battle, 
which belongs to a class of pictures of which we hope to have more in 
the future. There is a striving after originality in his paintings that is in 
the right direction. Mrs. C. A. Fassett, who has executed some excellent 
portraits, has also recently composed an important painting of the " Elec- 
toral Commission," of whose merits the writer can only speak by report. 

In Wordsworth Thompson we find an artist who seems to realize the 
possibilities of American historical art. Although a pupil of Gleyre, and 
for a number of years a resident abroad, there is no evidence of servile 
subserviency to any favorite school or method in the style of Mr. Thomp- 
son. He is an excellent draughtsman, his color is a happy medium be- 
tween the high and low keys of different schools — fresh, cool, and crisp — 




"ON THE OLD SOD." [WILLIAM MAGRATH.J 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 



129 



and his work is thoroughly finished, and yet broad in effect. He evidently 
has no hobbies to ride. As a designer of horses lie has few equals in this 
country. If we have a fault to find with him, it is in a certain lack of 
snap, of warmth, of enthusiasm in the handling of a subject, which renders 
it less impressive than it might otherwise be. 

Mr. Thompson, in his Mediterranean wanderings, gathered material for 
a number of attractive coast scenes, effective in atmosphere and in the 



pi 

hi 



:*:. 





"A MATIN SOXG." [FIDELIA BRIDGES.] 

rendering of figures, feluccas, and waves, all tending to illustrate his ver- 
satility. But he deserves to be most widely known on account of scenes 
taken from Southern life, and historic compositions suggested by the late 
war, or illustrating notable events of the Revolution. For pictures of this 

9 



130 



ART IN AMERICA. 



description Mr. Thompson seems to ns to rank next to Trumbull, whose 
masterly paintings of the "Death of Montgomery" and the "Battle of 




STUDY OF A DOG. [FRANK ROGERS.] 



Bunker Hill," now at New Haven, have hitherto been by far the most 
remarkable military paintings produced by an American artist. There 
is less action, fire, and brilliance of color in Mr. Thompson's works, but 
they possess many admirable qualities that entitle them to much respect. 
Among the most notable is an elaborate composition representing the Con- 
tinental army defiling before General Washington and his staff at Phila- 
delphia. The group of officers and horses in the foreground is one of the 
best pieces of artistic work recently painted by an American. 

When we come to a consideration of animal painting in this period of 
our aesthetic culture, we find that it is the most barren of good results of 
any branch of our art. We are at a loss to account for this, especially 
as the evidences of promise are also less prominent than in landscape and 
genre. Not only has the number of the artists who have pursued this 
department been proportionately small, but the quality of their work has 
been of a low average, and lacking in the originality elsewhere apparent. 

In the painting of pastoral scenes, with cattle, Peter Moran, of Phila- 
delphia, probably shows the most originality and force ; and Thomas Rob- 
inson, of Boston, has displayed exceptional vigor in painting the textures 
of cattle, but without much invention in composition. James Hart for the 



AMERICAN PAINTEKS. 131 

past twelve years lias made a specialty of introducing groups of cattle into 
his idyllic landscapes. They are often well drawn and carefully painted, 
and are in general effect commendable, although, like most of our animal 
painters, Mr. Hart does not seem to have got at the character of the an- 
imal as Snyders, Morland, or Landseer would have done. Mr. Dolpli has 
painted some creditable cats and pugs in combination with interiors; and 
two young artists, Messrs. George Inness, Jim., and J. Ogden Brown, have 
executed some promising cattle pieces. 

Miss Bridges must be credited with developing a charming and original 
branch of art, of which thus far she seems to enjoy a monopoly. There is 
exquisite fancy, as well as capital art, in the method in which, with water- 
colors, she composes stalks of grain or wild-flowers in combination with 
field birds, meadow-larks, linnets, bobolinks, sparrows, or sand-pipers, bal- 
ancing on the apex of a wavering stalk, or flying over the wheat or by the 
sands of the sea-beat shore. 

Mr. Frank Rogers, who is still a very young man, takes especial interest 
in painting dogs, although not intending to confine himself to that branch 
of animal life, and has already achieved considerable success in his at- 
tempts to represent canine traits. He has trained several dogs to pose for 
him for ten to fifteen minutes at once. In the decided ability and success 
already shown by Mr. Rogers we can see that it is now possible for our 
artists, availing themselves of influences already at work here, combined 
with an intense love of nature and the ideal, to do strong original work 
without devoting half their lives to foreign study, and thus carry on to a 
higher stage the national art for which so many clamor unreasonably, not 
considering that new schools of art are not born in a day, nor evolved 
without the conditions which have invariably prepared the way for the 
national art of other people. Art travels by no royal road. 

Our continent is not so plentifully stocked with wild beasts and game 
as some parts of the Old World, but we yet have the panther and the bi- 
son, although now fast fading into a mere traditionary existence before the 
rifle of the pioneer. R. M. Shurtleff has a pleasant fancy for catamounts 
and deer, and has been a careful student of their habits, of which the 
results appear in dramatic bits of the wild life of the woods introduced 
into effective paintings of forest scenery; "A Race for Life' 1 is the title 
of a weird, savage, and powerful composition by this artist, representing a 
flock of ravening wolves pursuing their victim over fields of frozen snow, 



132 



ART IN AMERICA. 



behind which the low red sun is setting; and A. F. Tait lias also devoted 
his life to rescuing from oblivion species which are rapidly becoming ex- 
tinct, unless our game-laws are better enforced than they have been hith- 
erto. There is often too finished a touch to the style of Mr. Tait, which 
deprives it of the force it might otherwise have ; but he has, on the other 
hand, painted both game and domestic animals with remarkable truth, and 




"lost in the sxow." — [a. f. TAIT. J 

he brings to the subject an inventive fancy that greatly adds to the 
variety and interest of his works. We might add in this connection an 
allusion to the ingenious carvings of Alexander Pope, a young artist who 
not only cuts out groups of game from a block of wood with much clev- 
erness, but also truthfully colors the grouse and teal his skilful knife 
carves out of pine. 

There is a branch of art which latterlv has attracted much attention in 



AMERICAN PAINTERS. 133 

this country. We refer to still-life. George II. Hall, who is also known 
as a genre painter, justly earned a reputation years ago for effective paint- 
ing of fruit and flowers, in which he has hitherto had few equals in this 
country ; and M. J. Heade has devoted his attention successfully to the 
rendering of the wonderful gorgeousness of tropical vegetation. The 
ideal flower- painting of Mr. Lafarge we have already mentioned. Miss 
Robbins, of Boston, is at present one of the most prominent artists we have 
in this department. She composes with great taste, and lays on her col- 
ors with superb effect. Some of her paintings suggest the rich, massive 
coloring of Tan ITuysams. Messrs. Seavey, of Boston, Way, of Baltimore, 
and Lambdiu, of Philadelphia, have produced some interesting results in 
this direction ; and Miss Dillon and Mrs. Henshaw must be credited with 
some very beautiful floral compositions. The list of ladies who have been 
measurably successful in realistic flower-painting is very large, and indi- 
cates the strong tendency toward decorative art in the country, which 
must result ere long in a distinctly national type of that branch of 
aesthetic culture. 

In arriving at the close of the second period of American painting, we 
are encouraged by abundant evidences of a healthy activity. While some 
phases of our art, after a growth of half a century, are passing through a 
transition period, and new methods and theories are grafting themselves 
upon the old, there is everywhere apparent a deeper appreciation of the 
supreme importance of the ideal, and a gathering of forces for a new 
advance against the strongholds of the materialism that wars against the 
culture of the ideal, combined with a rapidly spreading consciousness on 
the part of the people of the ethical importance of art, and a disposition 
to co-operate in its healthful development. At the same time new in- 
fluences are entering into the national culture of testhetics, and branches 
which have hitherto received little attention from our artists are coming 
rapidly into prominence, suggesting that we are about entering upon a 
third stage of American art. 



134 ART IN AMERICA. 



V. 

SCULPTURE IN AMERICA. 

TT is a generally conceded fact that since the death of Michael Angel o 
-*- the art of sculpture has made little progress in the expression of the 
ideal. It has rather indicated, until recently, a lack of steadiness of pur- 
pose, and a want of freshness and "intellectual grasp that place the plas- 
tic art of the last three centuries in a lower rank than that of the Classic 
and the Middle Ages. It is, therefore, a matter of surprise that in a people 
apparently so unideal as our own, and engaged in struggling to win for 
itself a right to exist among the wilds of a new world, that we find that so 
much evidence has already been shown of an appreciation for sculpture. 
It is true that we have not yet produced any masterpieces that can rank 
with those of antiquity ; but, on the other hand, some of our plastic art 
compares favorably with the best that has been created in modern times. 

But what might have been expected under the circumstances has 
proved to be the case. Originality has been the exception and not the 
rule, even with our best sculptors. Naturally led to study the antique 
in Europe, and also to master there the technical elements of the art of 
sculpture, owing to the entire absence of facilities for art education here, 
it was only to be expected that they would at first yield to the art influ- 
ences whose guidance they sought. It was not their fault that, until re- 
cently, those influences were conventional, and based upon a false percep- 
tion of the principles of art. 

Some of our most successful sculptors have never been abroad, or at 
least have not systematically placed themselves under the tuition of a for- 
eign master ; while a number of them have indicated in their tendencies a 
natural sympathy with the later movement of modern sculpture, which is 
rather in the direction of allegory, portraiture, and genre suggested by do- 
mestic life. When the ancients represented Yenus or Jove in marble, 
they sculptured a being in whose actual existence they believed, and thus 
a profound reverence inspired the work of the master. When the sculptor 



SCULPTURE IN AMERICA. 



135 



of the Middle Ages carved the deeds of the Saviour, or the saint.-, or repre- 
sented the Last Judgment, lie was moved by deep love or reverential awe, 
and an unquestioning belief in the events he was commemorating. But 
when the sculptor of this century undertakes to revive classical subjects 
and modes of thought, he encoun- 
ters an insurmountable obstacle at 
the outset, which checks all progress, 
and relegates his art to a secondary 
rank, without even the benefit of a 
doubt in his favor. The laws and 
limitations of mind make it impossi- 
ble for an art to be of the first order 
which depends upon the imitation 
of other art. It is only by copying 
nature directly, under the inspira- 
tions of its own age and country, 
that a school of art has the slight- 
est chance of immortality. Thor- 
waldsen, the greatest sculptor since 
Michael Angelo, exemplified this 
truth to a remarkable degree. 
Moved by a realization of classic 
art which no other modern sculptor 
except Flaxman has approached, 
we yet find his classical subjects 
inferior to those allegorical subjects 
in which he gave expression to the 
impulses of his own times. A slow- 
ly dawning consciousness that art 
cannot by any force of will or free 
agency escape from these limita- 
tions of srowth is becoming at last 




EYE BEFORE THE FALL. 



-[HIRAM POWERS.] 



evident in recent sculpture, especially in the emotional and sometimes 
sensational sculpture of France. Lacking repose, it is yet fresh and orig- 
inal, and is destined by continued self-assertion to reach a high rank. 

It is in imitations of the antique or in allegory, and portraiture, that 
our sculpture has exerted its best efforts, until within a few years. Gen- 



136 ART IN AMERICA. 

eral Washington lias also proved a sort of Jupiter Tonans to our sculptors. 
Elevated to a semi-apotheosis by the people, he has hitherto been the most 
prominent subject of the plastic art of the West, and has thus afforded a 
fair standard of comparison between the merits of different artists, since 
very few of them but have tried their hand with the national hero. As 
regards popular appreciation or pecuniary reward, it must be admitted 
that our sculptors have relatively little cause for complaint. 

The art of sculpture was by no means unknown here when the white 
man first stepped foot on our shores. The pipe-stone quarries of the West 
are an evidence of what had already been attempted by the aboriginal 
savages. Tobacco, so much maligned by certain zealous philanthropists, 
was at least an innocent cause of some of the earliest attempts at sculpture 
made on this continent. The writer has in his possession an Indian pipe 
carved out of flint, which represents a man sitting with hands clasped 
across his knees. Simple as it is, it indicates good skill in stone-carving, 
and considerable observation of race characteristics and anatomy. Evi- 
dences of great technical skill in the plastic arts, but with an unformed 
perception of beauty, are being constantly discovered among the relics of 
the extinct Mound-builders of the West and South. 

Before the Revolution, however, excepting in the carving of figure- 
heads, plastic art, unlike painting, seems to have been hardly known in 
the United States. And so little sign was there of its dawn that John 
Trumbull declared to F razee, as late as 1S16, that sculpture "would not be 
wanted here for a century." But even then the careful observer might 
have noticed indications that a genius for glyptic art was awakening in 
the new republic. In the early part of the last century Deacon Drowne 
made a vane for Faneuil Hall, and one for the Province House, in Boston, 
which appear to have gained him great repute in his day in New Eng- 
land. The latter work, although turning with the wind on an iron spin- 
dle, was a life-size statue of an Indian sachem holding a bow and arrow in 
the act of aiming. It was hollow, and of copper, and would seem, from the 
impression it made, to have been a work of some merit. Somewhat later, 
Patience Wright, of Bordentown, New Jersey, displayed considerable clev- 
erness in modelling miniature wax heads in relief, and by this process suc- 
ceeded in making likenesses of Washington and Franklin, among the ce- 
lebrities of her time. William Rush, who was born some twenty years 
before the Revolution, had also shown already that even in ship-carving 



SCULPTURE IN AMERICA. 



137 



the sculptor may find scope for fancy and skill, as Matthew Pratt, in the 
previous generation, had proved that even in the painting of signs genius 
can find vent for its inspirations. Rush was undoubtedly a man of gen- 
ius; for, although all the art education he ever had was confined to an 
apprenticeship with a ship-carver, his figure-heads of Indians or naval he- 
roes added a singular merit to the beauty of the merchant marine which 




" ORPHEUS." [THOMAS CRAWFORD. J 



first carried our flag to the farthest seas, and the men-of-war that wrested 
victory in so many a hard-fought battle. Rush worked only in wood or 
clay; but original strength and talent, which under better circumstances 
might have achieved greater results, are evident in some of his portrait 
busts, and in a statue of a nymph at Fail-mount. A. bust of himself, 
carved out of a block of pine, is remarkable for a realistic force and 



138 ART IN AMERICA. 

• character that entitle it to a permanent place in the records of American 
sculpture. 

Sculpture, however, was much more backward in gaining a foothold 
in the country than the sister arts; for it was not until 1824 that the first 
portrait in marble by a native was executed — that of John Wells, by John 
Frazee, a stone-cutter, whose sole art education was obtained during an 
apprenticeship in a yard where rude monumental work was turned out for 
the bleak cemeteries in use before such sumptuous retreats as Greenwood 
and Mount Auburn were planned. There was a feeling after the ideal in 
the nature of this unassisted artist which enabled him to be potential in 
influencing } T ounger artists; while his opportunities were unfavorable to 
the just development of his own abilities. 

Rush began to model in clay in 1789, and at that time not one of the 
artists who have since given celebrity to our native sculpture had seen the 
light. Frazee was born in 1790; and Hezekiah Augur, of New Haven, in 
1791. The latter was engaged in the grocery trade, and failing in that, 
took up modelling and wood-carving, without any guide except his natural 
instincts. Like many of our first sculptors, his efforts are interesting rather 
as evidences of what talent entirely uninstructed and untrained can accom- 
plish, than for any intrinsic value in his work. Many of the artists who 
have succeeded him have also begun life in some trade or profession alto- 
gether at variance with the art to which they afterward consecrated their 
lives. 

It was not till the year lS05,long after Copley, West, Malbone, Allston, 
and Stuart had demonstrated our capacity for pictorial art, that the genius 
of the country seemed inclined to allow us a plastic art of our own. In 
that year Hiram Powers was born, one of the best known sculptors of the 
century. The same year witnessed the birth of Horatio Greenough. In 
the remote wilds of Kentucky, still harried by the Indians, Hart was born 
in 1S10; and Clevenger, Crawford, and Mills followed in 1812,1813, and 
1815 — all artists of note, even if of unequal merits, and important as pio- 
neers in the art rather than the creators of a great school of sculpture. 
Thus we see that without any apparent previous preparation a strong im- 
pulse toward glyptic art and the men to direct and give it strength simul- 
taneously sprung up in the land. When one considers the disadvantages 
under which they labored, and that, so far as can be known, they were not 
even aided by any heredity of genius in this direction, criticism is tern- 



SCULPTURE IN AMERICA. 



139 



pefed by surprise that they achieved the results they did, and that two of 
them at least— Powers and Crawford — succeeded in winning fur them- 
selves a European renown which made them almost the peers of some of 
the leading foreign sculptors of the age, who were born amidst the trophies 
of classic and Renaissance art. 




Hiram Powers must always be assigned a commanding position in 
our Western art, even by those who are not enthusiastic admirers of his 
works. A farmer's boy of the Green Mountains, he early exchanged "\ er- 
mont for the bustling streets of Cincinnati, where an ampler scope was 
offered to the aspiring energies of the founder of American sculpture. 
Like many of our sculptors, a turn for mechanics, characteristic of the in- 
ventive mind of the people, was combined in him with a capacity for art. 
and this, which at first found vent in a study of the inventions of the 



140 ART IN AMERICA. 

time, enabled him in matilrer life to facilitate the means of art expression 
by valuable inventions. Palmer and several other American sculptors 
have also aided the art in a similar way. From modelling in wax, which 
aroused great local interest, young Powers proceeded to modelling in plas- 
ter, under the tuition of a German artist resident in Cincinnati, and, aided 
by the generous patronage of Mr. Longworth — to whose liberality toward 
our artists American art is greatly indebted — he soon received numerous 
commissions for portrait busts of some of our most notable public men, 
such as Webster, Jackson, Marshall, and Calhoun. Notwithstanding his 
lack of training and art associations, Powers executed some of these por- 
traits with a vigor worthy of the subjects, and scarcely equalled by any of 
his subsequent work. 

In 1837 Powers decided to go to Italy, whither Greenough had already 
preceded him, led thither, like many since, by superior art advantages and 
economical reasons, which still sway our sculptors at a time when it would 
seem that it would be more profitable, so far as native art is concerned, 
for them to remain here. Several of our sculptors have acknowledged 
to the writer that the time has come for their art to grow up under the 
home influences which are to regulate the art of the future, but that the 
question of economy forces them to live in Florence and Rome. 

Residing in Florence until his death, Powers devoted his long career 
to the creation of many works of high finish, and occasionally of a merit 
comparing well with the works of an age whose plastic arts were conven- 
tional. Who has not seen the famous "Greek Slave," inspired by the 
enthusiasm for the Greeks struggling with the Turk for existence? The 
" Penseroso," " Fisher Boy," and " Proserpine " are also among the most 
pleasing works of this artist. The " California," a nude, symbolical female 
figure, is less satisfactory in conception, and is also open to criticism as to 
its proportions. In these works we see expressed the thoughts of an artist 
skilled in the technical requirements of the art, and moved by a lofty 
ideal, but marked by tender sentiment rather than force, and suggesting 
sometimes a dryness of style ajid a coldness or reticence of emotion inher- 
ited from the undemonstrative people of New England, as if when the 
artist was executing them the stern genius of Puritanism, jealous of the 
voluptuous or the passionate in art, had stood Mentor-like at his side and 
said, " There, that will do ; beware lest your love of beauty lead you to 
forget that you are an American citizen, to whom duty, principle, exam- 



SCULPTURE IN AMERICA. 



141 



pie, are the watchwords of life." But sometimes genius proved superior 
to tradition even with Powers, as when he composed the two great ideal 
statues of Eve before and after the fall. By these noble works, inspired 




"THE GHOST IN HAMLET." [THOMAS R. GOULD.] 

by true, untrammelled artistic feeling — which we must consider his best 
ideal compositions- — he earned a rank very near to that of Gibson and 
Canova, and rendered his art worthy of lasting remembrance. 

The art of Powers was best exemplified in his portrait busts. His 
imagination was not prolific or active, as one may infer from the following 
expressions of his own : " I could never satisfy myself with an ideal in a 
hurry. The human form is infinite. It is the image of God. I have 
found that, do my best, there was always a better in nature. Once know- 
ing this, I have hesitated and sought to find it, and this is the way to fame. 



142 ART IN AMERICA. 

One may fail with all his care and labor, but it is the only way. Xot they 
who have produced the most, but they who have done the best, stand fore- 
most in the end. I never felt that I had the power to charge a hundred 
statues. I exhaust myself on a few. This accounts for the fact that I 
found it necessary to give nearly a year's time, in all, to the model of your 
statue of 'Paradise Lost.'" 

The early educational advantages of Horatio Greenongh were superior 
to those of Powers; and as one of the first in our country to assert himself 
in marble, he won a name which we are reluctantly obliged to consider in 
excess of his merits as an artist. He impresses one as a man of intellect- 
ual force and culture, but without any special calling to sculpture. The 
work by which he will be known the longest is the Bunker Hill Monu- 
ment, whose stately proportions he designed. Greenongh executed a num- 
ber of vigorous and striking busts, like those of .Lafayette and Fenimore 
Cooper, which deserve favorable mention. But in venturing after ideal 
expression he cannot be said to have accomplished satisfactory results. 
The elaborate group called " The Rescue," on the portico of the Capitol 
at Washington, is ambitious, but leaves one to regret that so prominent a 
position could not have been more appropriately decorated. 

Few statues have ever given rise to more conflicting criticisms than 
Greenough's "Washington" in the grounds of the Capitol. Colossal in 
size and on a massive throne, seated half nude and holding out a Roman 
sword in his left hand, some one has jocularly observed that the august 
hero of the republic seems to say, " Here is my sword ; my clothes are in 
the Patent-office yonder." It certainly seems an absurdity in this age to 
represent so recent a character in a garb in which he was so rarely seen 
by the public, or so closely and incongruously to imitate the style of the 
antique. Benjamin West showed more originality and courage when, in 
the last century, and in defiance of the opinion of such men as Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, he dared to break loose from the conventional, and created a 
revolution in historical art by permitting General Wolfe to die in the 
clothes in which he went to battle. But in justice to Greenongh, whose 
statue is in some respects meritorious and important, especially in the 
bass-reliefs on the elegant chair, it should be said that he never designed 
to have this statue placed in its present position, but under the dome of 
the Rotunda, where it would undoubtedly be far more impressive, and be- 
ins; sheltered from the winter snows, its nuditv would be less incongruous. 




■ 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. — [j. Q. A. WARD.] 



SCULPTURE IN AMERICA. 145 

Last year a sculptor died at Florence who was born in Kentucky 
nearly seventy years ago. His education was confined to three months in 
a district school, and his first occupation was chimney-building. James 
Hart, although successful in portraiture, was also an idealist, who, after 
settling in Italy, produced numerous pleasing works, like his "Angelina" 
and "Woman Triumphant." There is a delicate, winning sense of beauty 
and a refined emotional tendency in his art, which pleases while it fails to 
master us, because it was a facile fancy rather than a lofty imagination 
that conceived his creations. 

Shobal Y. Clcvenger, a stone-cutter of Ohio, presents another instance 
of the sudden yearning toward the plastic art which early in the century 
sought vent in various parts of the country. Like so many others, he 
turned his face to Italy to find the knowledge which it was impossible for 
his native land to give him at that time. The nation owes a debt of 
gratitude to him, as to several of our early sculptors, for many truthfully 
realistic portraits of our leading statesmen and poets. 

In point of date as well as in ability we find that Thomas Crawford, a 
native of New York State, was one of the first of our sculptors. If Pow- 
ers was remarkable for the refinement of his work, in the sculpture of 
Crawford we find a certain grandiose style not too common in our art, 
and at the same time so harmoniously rendered as to avoid exaggeration. 
Crawford occupies among our sculptors a position corresponding to that of 
Allston among our early painters. There is a classic majesty about his 
works, a sustained grandeur that is warmed by a sympathetic nature, and 
brought within the range of the throes and aspirations of this tumultuous 
century. He had what most of our sculptors have lacked — genius. Were 
he alive to-day, when a new order of sculpture is bursting its bonds, he 
would have few peers. Among his most important works are the impres- 
sive equestrian statue of Washington at Richmond, and the colossal statue 
of Beethoven in the Music Hall at Boston. They were cast in the foun- 
dries of Miiller at Munich, and were hailed by all, artists and sovereign 
alike, with a dramatic enthusiasm which speaks eloquently for the esti- 
mate placed upon them in one of the most notable art tribunals of Europe. 

The bronze door of the Capitol at Washington, containing panel groups 
illustrative of the American Revolution, has been considered by some to 
be a masterpiece of Crawford, and it certainly indicates imagination and 
technical skill unusual among us until recently; but the statue of Orpheus 

10 



140 



ART IN AMERICA. 



descending into Tartarus in search of his -wife Enrydice seems, on the 
whole, to be the most symmetrical and just representative work of this 
great sculptor. His stately and graceful statue of "Liberty" on the dome 
of the Capitol is also entitled to high consideration, but one can hardly 
think of it without indignation, for certainly nothing was ever devised 

quite so absurd as to create a work 
of imagination like this, and then 
to perch it up in the air three hun- 
dred feet above the ground, where 
it is a mere shapeless spot against 
the sky, its beauty almost as com- 
pletely snatched away from human 
ken as if it were buried as far be- 
neath the surface of the earth. 

The art of the Capitol at Washing- 
ton presents, indeed, a most extraor- 
dinary farrago of excellence and ec- 
centricity and ignorance. Some of 
the alto-relievos in the Rotunda are 
of such exceptional nncouthness 
that one is astounded to think that 
some of the men are still living 
who permitted them to be placed 
there. They might easily be pass- 
ed off for rude Aztec relics. The 
Sculpture Hall adjoining displays 
the same amazing incongruity. Its 
existence suggests a dim perception 
in the builders that at some future 
time we should need a national gal- 
lery of statuary; while the inequal- 
ity in the merit of the sculptures already placed there Avould indicate 
that they had been chosen entirely by lot rather than by deliberate 
selection. Not until a permanent national art commission like that of 
France is appointed can we hope, in the present unsesthetic condition of 
Congress, to have such art collected at the national capital as will be en- 
tirely creditable to the country. Such a commission, owing to the frailty 




" MEDEA." L WILL1AM WETMOKE STORY.] 



SCULPTURE IN AMERICA. 149 

of human nature, might perhaps show partiality at times toward a favorite 
school; but what it did admit would at least be of a higher average merit, 
and mere tyros in art would have no chance to storm the public Treasury 
by the sheer force of lobbying. 

It is to the then absolute ignorance of art on the part of the people 
that we owe the equestrian statues of Clark Mills — a contemporary of 
Crawford — of which the most noted is probably the statue of General 
Jackson opposite the White House, and the one of George Washington, 
for which he received $50,000. The former is chiefly notable for the 
mechanical dexterity which so balanced the weights that the prancing 
steed is actually able to stand in that position without other support than 
its own ponderosity. That Mr. Mills has ability is unquestioned, for it is 
said that before ever he had seen a statue he was able to take a portrait 
bust of Calhoun which is pronounced a striking likeness ; but it is dexter- 
ity and talent rather than genius which he possesses. There is little evi- 
dence of art feeling in his works, and the prominence that has been given 
to them is a just cause of regret to the lover of art. 

It is pleasant among so much poor art to find here and there works 
like those of Crawford, Ward, Brown, Randolph Rogers, and Ball, which 
indicate an earnest striving after a lofty art ideal. Henry K. Browne, one 
of our earliest sculptors, will probably be best known by his two equestrian 
statues — of General Washington, in Union Square, New York, and Gen- 
eral Scott, at the capital. It is extremely difficult to tell what it is which 
makes such monuments so rarely satisfactory. If the horse is anatomi- 
cally correct, it is, perhaps, ungraceful ; or if pleasing in that respect, then 
the horse-fancier comes along, who tells you that it cannot be justly ad- 
mired, for it is incorrect in the details. Between these two objections one 
is often at a loss to give an opinion ; and in point of fact the famous 
statue of Colleoni by Verrochio, made in the Middle Ages, seems thus far 
to be almost the only wholly acceptable equestrian work since the classic 
times, so thoroughly does it seem in its firm, massive, yet energetic lines to 
embody the description of the war-horse given in the Book of Job. and 
so nobly does his mailed rider bestride him. The cause of the difficulty 
appears to be the same as in marine painting. To paint a ship one should 
love it intensely, and if he does, he is likely to comprehend the action : to 
desigu a horse in motion one should love horses, and in such case the study 
of them begins instinctively in childhood. But most sculptors have no 



150 



ART IN AMERICA. 




"LATONA AND HER INFANTS." [W. H. EINEHART.] 



natural equine bias, and, after accepting a commission for an equestrian 
statue, they begin to study the horse for the purpose of information, rather 
than from sympathetic, enthusiastic feeling. 

Mr. Browne has struggled with these difficulties with very creditable 
success. Neither of the statues mentioned above gives complete satisfac- 
tion, but the} 7 are doubtless among the best yet exhibited in our country. 
That of Scott represents the finest horse, and very graceful and interesting 
it is, although the proportions are rather those of an Arab steed than of 
an American war-horse; while that of Washington is the most spirited 
and attractive. It is heroic and impressive in its general effect. This 
artist, who still resides at Newburgh, enjoying a green old age after a suc- 
cessful career, has accomplished much ideal work, like the pleasing statue 
of " Ruth," and has shown a fine artistic feeling in his conceptions, al- 
though hardly entitled to a foremost rank in this branch of the art. 

Thomas Ball, who was originally a portrait-painter, and who continues 
to adorn our public squares with meritorious sculptures, is another artist to 
whom we are indebted for one of the most spirited and correct equestrian 



SCULPTURE IN AMERICA. 151 

statues in the country. We refer to his "Washington," in the Public 
Garden in Boston. Pleasing when regarded artistically, cavalrymen also 
like it for its truth to nature. The group called "Emancipation," in Lin- 
coln Park, at Washington, is also by Mr. Ball. 

An equestrian statue that is destined to occupy a high position in our 
native art is that of General Thomas, by J. Q. A. Ward. It is of colossal 
size, and has been cast in bronze at Philadelphia. There is a force in the 
action, an originality in the pose, a justness in the proportions of both horse 
and rider, that render it exceptionally excellent. In Mr. Ward we see one 
of the most vigorous and individual sculptors of the age. As an influence 
in our art his example is of great importance, because while placing at its 
true value the good that may be obtained by familiarity with the models 
of classic art, whether by the study of casts at home or abroad, he recog- 
nizes the basal principle of all true art — that its originating force must 
proceed from, within, and that culture can only supplement, but cannot 
supply the want of, genius in the artist or the people. And thus, while 
thoroughly conversant with foreign and antique art, Mr. Ward has worked 
at home, and drawn the sources of his inspiration from native influences. 
He has a mind overflowing with resources; his fancy is never still; he is 
ever delighting to sketch in clay, if the term may be so used. Many are 
familiar with the noble statue of Shakspeare and the "Indian Hunter" in 
the Central Park. The latter, although not in all respects anatomically 
correct, is in spirit and design one of the most notable works produced by 
American plastic art. But the bronze statue of Washington recently set 
up at Newbnryport is, perhaps, the best existing specimen of Mr. Ward's 
skill. The subject is not a new one ; in fact, it has been treated so many 
hundred times in one form or another that especial originality was needed 
to render it again with any degree of freshness and interest. But the 
effort has been crowned with success. There is in this statue, which is of 
colossal size, a sustained majesty, dignity, and repose, and a harmony of 
design rarely attained in modern sculpture. 

Among the foremost of American sculptors in point of native ability 
we must accord a place to Benjamin Paul Akers, of Portland. He was 
indeed a man of genius, of a finely organized temperament: but he died 
before the maturity of his powers, ere he was able to achieve little more 
than a promise of immortality. His "Pearl Diver," which is indeed an 
exquisite creation, original, and tenderly beautiful, represents a youth 



152 



ART IN AMERICA. 



whose corpse the tide has washed on the rooks, where it lies wrapped by 
the sea-weed, and tranquil in the repose of death. The anatomy and com- 
position of this work are evidently the offspring of a finely-organized mind 
well grounded in the principles of his art, and inspired by tender sympa- 
thies and a strongly creative imagination; and his "St. Elizabeth" is also 

__, , ,„„„, ,. __, a lovely piece of sculpture. The 

noble ideal bust of Milton, and the 
" Pearl Diver," are grandly de- 
scribed by Hawthorne in the "Mar- 
ble Faun." The admirable descrip- 
tion of Kenyon, the young sculptor 
mentioned in that weird romance, 
is intended for a likeness of Akers. 
Edward S. Bartholomew, of Con- 
necticut, who died in his thirty -sixth 
year, was another of our most gifted 
sculptors. There was an affluence 
of fancy in his art, rare in our 
sculpture, which needed pruning 
rather than urging by foreign study. 
Naturally his works are unequal in 
merit; but the "Eve Repentant," 
"Ganymede," and "Hagar and Ish- 
mael" will long perpetuate his fame. 
It is a noteworthy circumstance that 
Bartholomew was totally color-blind. 
This, in the opinion of many, is no 
disqualification in a sculptor ; but 
some sculptors not only think oth- 
erwise, but are also conscious of a 
sense of color when creating a work. 
Italy, which has been the home 
and second mother to most of the artists we have named, has long given a 
home to and inspired the art of a number of our most prominent sculptors, 
who are now permanently residing in Florence and Rome — Randolph 
Rogers, Story, Rinehart, Meade, Gould, Thompson, Miss Ilosmer, and sev- 
eral others, all of whom merit more than a passing notice. Rogers, who 




ZENOBIA." — [HARRIET HOSMER.] 



SCULPTURE IN AMERICA. 



153 



lias executed many exquisite works indicating fine sentiment and fancy, is 
most favorably known for the bronze doors in the Rotunda of the Capitol 
at Washington. Eight panels, representing scenes in the history of Colum- 
bus, have afforded abundant scope for the exhibition of a genius which, 
while it borrowed the idea from Ghiberti, had yet ability sufficient to give 
us an original work. The "Angel of the Resurrection," for the monument 
of Colonel Colt at Hartford, is also an important and beautiful creation by 
this artist. Larkin J. Meade, of Vermont, has justly won a wide reputa- 
tion for portrait and monumental works, like that to Abraham Lincoln at 
Springfield, Illinois. It is of colossal dimensions, costing nearly 8-300,000, 
and in size and importance ranks with the majestic monument at Plymouth 




"evening." — [e. d. palmer.] 

designed by Ilammatt, Billings. One of the noblest art opportunities of 
the century was offered when that monument was proposed. If Mr. Bil- 
lings's original design had been fully carried out a work would have been 
erected of which the country might justly be proud. Lack of funds and 



154 ART IN AMERICA. 

a pitiful lack of enthusiasm resulted in reducing the dimensions of the 
work by half. Martin Milmore has also executed some very important 
civic monuments, and has turned the late war to account by numerous 
military memorials erected to our dead heroes. The one recently finished 
at Boston is the most noteworthy. The art represented in these works 
is, however, not of a high order, perhaps because such subjects are so trite 
that even an artist of very unusual ability would be staggered in treating 
them. Franklin Simmons, whose abilities have been chiefly devoted to a 
similar class of works with those of Meade and Milmore, often exhibits 
true art feeling, and a sense of the beautiful that makes his art exception- 
ally attractive. The monument to the Army and Navy, at Washington, 
which he has designed, is not wholly satisiactoiy, but it contains some 
effective points. One of his best works is the statue of Roger Williams. 
Another Americo-Florentine artist who has created some remarkable and 
beautiful ideal works is Thomas R. Gould. Among these may be men- 
tioned "The Ascending Spirit," at Mount Auburn, " The Ghost in Ham- 
let" and " The AVest Wind." The latter is fascinating rather for the deli- 
cate fancy it shows than for teclmic knowledge, for it is open to criticism 
in the details; the drapery, for example, is so full as to draw away the 
attention from the figure. This is a blemish quite too common even in 
our best sculpture. Mr. Gould has also been very successful in portraiture, 
and is now eno-aged on a full-sized statue of Ivamehameha, late Kins- of 
the Sandwich Islands. In the ideals of this artist we notice a powerful 
originality, and an attempt to render in marble effects usually left to the 
higher orders of pictorial art. Allegory he treats with marked power, and 
such ideal conceptions as the heads of Christ and of Satan suggest possi- 
bilities scarcely yet touched by sculpture. 

Another of our sculptors, working near the quarries whence comes the 
marble into which he stamps immortality, was W. II. Rinehart, of Balti- 
more, one of the truest idealists whom this country has produced. Crit- 
icism is almost disarmed as one gazes at his " Sleeping Babes," or the 
tender grace of " Latona and her Infants." 

In all these artists we find more or less dexterity of execution and 
delicacy of sentiment, but are rarely impressed by a sense that any of 
them indicate great reserve force. In William W. Story this idea is more 
clearly conveyed. No American in the art world now occupies a more 
prominent position or shows greater versatility. Possessed of an ample 



SCULPTURE IN AMERICA. 



155 



fortune, and originally a lawyer, and preparing legal tomes, lie then de- 
voted himself to poetry, the drama, and general literature, and has succeed- 
ed as a sculptor to a degree which has caused a leading London journal to 
call him the first sculptor of the Anglo-Saxon race since the death of Gib- 
son, lie certainly occupies a commanding place, fairly won, among the 




BUST OF WILLIAM PAGE. [ WILLIAM P.. o'DONOTAX.] 



prominent men of the age. But here our praise must be qualified : for it 
may be seriously cpiestioned whether we are not dazzled by the sum of his 
abilities rather than by any exceptional originality and daring in anything 
Story has done. Of his sculpture it may be said that it indicates the 
work of a rich and highly cultivated mind; it is thoughtful, thoroughly 
finished, and classically severe. But it commands our respect rather than 



156 ART IN AMERICA. 

our enthusiasm. There is in it nothing inspirational. It is talent, not 
genius, which wrought those carefully executed marbles — talent of a high 
order, it is true. "Jerusalem Lamenting," " The Sibyl," and " Cleopatra" 
and " Medea," are works so noble, especially the first, that one is impatient 
with himself because he can gaze upon them so unmoved. The "Salome" 
is, perhaps, the most perfect work of this sculptor, who might have done 
greater things if he had not depended so exclusively upon foreign in- 
spiration. 

Miss Hosmer, who has resided in Italy ever since she took up art, has 
achieved a fame scarcely less than that of Mr. Story. This has doubtless 
been owing in part to her sex, for from the time of Sabina Yon Steinbach 
until this century it has been exceedingly rare to see a woman modelling 
clay. But Miss Hosmer has a strong personality, and if her creations are 
not always thoroughly successful as works of art, they bear the vigorous 
impress of individual thought and imagination. She is best known in 
such versatile works as " Puck," " The Sleeping Sentinel," " The Sleeping 
Faun," and "Zenobia," in whose majestic proportions the artist has sought 
to express her ideal of a woman and a queen. Miss Hosmer took her first 
lessons in sculpture with Peter Stephenson, an artist who died too early to 
achieve a national reputation, although not too soon to be esteemed by his 
fellow -artists for his abilities. He studied awhile at Rome, and left a 
number of portrait busts, and a group of " Una and the Lion," which indi- 
cate undoubted talent. Other ladies who have essayed sculpture with suc- 
cess are Miss Stebbins, the biographer of Charlotte Cushman, and Mrs. 
Freeman, of Philadelphia, who has executed some beautiful works. Miss 
Whitney, who studied abroad for a time, but has wisely concluded to con- 
tinue her work in this country, has shown a careful, thoughtful study of 
the figure, and is moved by a lofty idea of the position of sculpture among 
the arts. Among her more important works is an impressive statue of 
"Rome," in her decadence, mourning over her past glory; a statue of 
"Africa;" and one of Samuel Adams, in the Capitol at Washington. 

There are other American sculptors deserving more than mere allusion, 
like Dexter, Richard Greenough, Barbee,Yolk, Edmonia Lewis, Van Wart, 
Ives, Macdonald, Kernys, Ezekiel, Calverly, and Haseltine, who in portrait- 
ure or the ideal have won a more than respectable position ; but our space 
limits us to a notice of several artists who, like Ward, combine great nat- 
ural ability with traits distinctively American. One of these is Erastus D. 



SCULPTURE IN AMERICA. 



157 



Palmer, of Albany, who has won transatlantic fame by the purify and 
originality of his art. The son of a farmer, and exercising the calling of 
a carpenter until nearly thirty, Palmer did not yield to the artistic yearn- 
ings of his nature until comparatively late in life. When he at last took 
up the pursuit of art, it w r as in his own town that he studied and sought 
fame, and his success was rapid and entirely deserved. Few of our sculp- 
tors have been such true votaries of the ideal, few have been able better 




ABRAHAM PIERSON. [LAUNT THOMPSON.] 

to give it expression, and none have shown a type of beauty so national. 
or have more truly interpreted with an exquisite poetic sense the distinc- 
tive domestic refinement or religious thought of our people. It is beauty 
rather than power that we see expressed in the works of this true poet — 



15S ART IN AMERICA. 

moral beauty identified with a type of physical grace wholly native. It is 
an art which finds immediate response here, for it is of our age and our 
land. Among the notable works of Palmer are his "Indian Captive," 




"THE CHARITY PATIENT." [JOHN ROGERS.] 

"Spring," "The White Slave," and "The Angel of the Sepulchre;" but we 
prefer to these the exquisitely beautiful bass-reliefs in which he has em- 
bodied with extreme felicity the domestic sentiments or the yearnings 
and aspirations of the Christian soul. The radical fault of Palmer's art 
is that he has depended more on his fancy than upon a direct study of 
nature for his compositions. The natural result has been that he soon 
began to lapse into mannerism, which has become more and more promi- 
nent in his later works. 



SCULPTURE IN AMERICA 



159 



Another sculptor of great ability owes his first instruction in the plas- 
tic art to Palmer — Launt Thompson. lie was a poor lad who early 
showed art instincts, but was employed in the office of Dr. Armsby, until 
Palmer stated one day that he was in search of an assistant, and asked Dr. 
Armsby if he could recommend any 
one. The doctor suggested Thomp- 
son (who was in the room) as a youth 
who had a turn that way, but had 
been unable to find opportunity to 
gratify his art cravings. Thus began 
the career of one of our strongest 
portrait sculptors. In the modelling 
both of the bust and the full figure, 
Thompson has been equalled by very 
few American sculptors. Among 
many successful works may be men- 
tioned his Napoleon, Edwin Booth, 
General Sedgwick, at West Point, 
and President Pierson, at Yale Col- 
lege. It is a cause for just regret 
that, after having achieved such suc- 
cess at home, Thompson should have 
deemed it necessary to take up his 
residence permanently in Italy. 

Another artist whose work is 
entirely native to the soil is John 
Rogers, whose numerous statuette 
groups in clay have made him more 
widely known in the country than 
any other of our sculptors. A na- 
tive of Salem, Massachusetts, and 
for awhile engaged in mechanical 
pursuits, this artist was at last able 
to turn his attention to plastic art, 
and went to Europe, where he seems to have gained suggestions from 
the realistic and impressional school of the later French sculptors: but 
this was rather as a suggestion than an influence, and, finding his mind 




; THE WHIRLWIND." [j. S. HARTLEY.] 



160 



ART IN AMERICA. 




"adoration of the cross 
by angels." st. thom- 
as's church, new york. 
[st. gafdens.] 



^ ; ~ T- more in sympathy with home 

— ; -C- - ?" ^ 1%-jf i ^f e ? ^ ie soon returned, and has 



Mfigf^ U mkz^Zf evei * since worked here, and from 

° '" ^/~ ] / t^/^^ltff subjects of homely every-day genre 

. vf/r^/i" around him. The late war has also fur- 

/ ^"" nished Rogers with material for many 



SCULPTURE IN AMERICA. 161 

interesting groups. The art of Rogers is to the last degree unconven- 
tional, and in no sense appertains to what is ealled high art, but it springs 
from a nature moved by correct impulses, beating in unison with the time, 
and occupying the position of pioneer in the art of the future, because he 
has been true to himself and his age. 

Daniel C. French, a pupil of Ward and Ball, is a young sculptor who. 
like Rogers, finds inspiration for his ideals in his native land, and gives 
promise of holding a prominent position in the field of American sculpt- 
ure. He made a sudden and early strike for fame when, with scarce any 
instruction, he modelled the spirited and original, although anatomically 
imperfect, statue called the " Minute Man," which is at Concord. 

Another strong representative of the new realistic school of sculpture 
that is gradually springing up in the community is W. R. O'Donovan, of 
Richmond, Virginia. Fighting sturdily on the side of the South during 
the late war, he as earnestly gives himself now to the pursuit of the arts of 
peace. He is not a rapid worker, but handles the clay with thoughtful 
mastery, and the results are stamped with the freshness and individuality 
of genius. Mr.- O'Donovan's efforts have been most successful in portrait- 
ure, of which a striking example is given in the bronze bust of Mr. Page, 
the artist. Another bust, of a young boy, is as full of naive beauty and 
refined sentiment and character as this is vigorous and almost startling 
in its grasp of individual traits. 

The transition stage through which our plastic art is passing is also 
indicated by the stirring, realistic, and sometimes sensational art of a num- 
ber of earnest and original young sculptors who have studied abroad, but 
have wisely concluded to return home, and to found, and grow up with, a 
new and progressive school of sculpture. One of these was the late Frank 
Dengler, of Cincinnati, who had studied at Munich, and was professor of 
sculpture at Boston ; and others are Olin M. Warner, of New York, and 
Howard Roberts, of Philadelphia, who made the singularly bold statues of 
" Hypatia " and " Lot's Wife." To these may be added J. S. Hartley, who 
was recently Professor of Anatomy at the Art Students' League, and is 
now president of that flourishing institution. He began his career in Palm- 
er's studio, and afterward studied in London and Paris. The art of these 
young sculptors is still immature and highly emotional or lyrical, and often 
verges on the picturesque rather than the severely classic. But if it lacks 
repose, on the other hand it is imaginative and powerful ; its faults are 

11 



162 



ART IN AMERICA. 



r 



a iyCaxn\ cLLq, err cuh<. a/ 3./ WnW.<jm«« 
tn.QTLjdbdAfv-Zst , £ ' tcnrvr^^^t^rtX^cL fry ct^\. tyifS&^f^ 

2. * f / 

cv*VU>r¥Vwv_ tr^lAjuJ*-. >Arjlr6u»A*h , yniufidL b«- <j*a*&*CX* r**. l6*Ui.»-Gr*££. 







/usyvsZa., 



fitm Ofyr.n..iyAr±.C>.l. 



thomas Jefferson's idea of a monument. 



those of an exuberant fancy that teems with thought; and these artists are 
undoubtedly the forerunners, if not the creators, of a thoroughly national 
school of sculpture. Superior in technic skill, moved by a genius thor- 



SCULPTURE IN AMERICA. 163 

o uglily trained in the best modern school of plastic art, that of Paris, St. 
Gaudens, a native of New York, has given ns, in the exquisite groups called 
" The Adoration of the Cross by Angels," in St. Thomas's Church, New 
York, one of the most important and beautiful works in the country. The 
Astor Reredos behind the altar at Trinity Church, designed by Mr. Withers, 
and partly executed here, is also a very rich addition to our plastic art, and 
is another sifirn that it is taking a direction little followed heretofore on 
this side the Atlantic. Dr. William Eimmer, who has recently died, pow- 
erful in modelling, a master of art anatomy, and author of a valuable 
work on that subject, also exerted an important influence in directing 
the studies of our rising sculptors. Having little sense of beauty, he un- 
derstood art anatomy profoundly, and modelled with energy if not with 
grace. His statue of "The Gladiator" aroused astonishment in Paris; 
for as it is impossible for a living man to keep a falling position long- 
enough for a cast to be taken, this masterly composition was necessarily 
a creation of the imagination based upon exhaustive knowledge of the 
figure: 

Wood and stone carving and monumental work, and the decoration of 
churches and civic structures, have rarely been satisfactorily attempted 
here until recently. A curious paper and design left by Thomas Jeffer- 
son, of which we give a reduced fac-simile, is one of the earliest attempts 
at original monumental art in the United States. Here and there one of 
our sculptors has executed some good work in this field, but costly monu- 
ments have too often been erected in the country without much preten- 
sion to art. The increasing attention given to wood and stone carving, as 
in the new Music Hall at Cincinnati, the State Capitols at Albany and 
Hartford, and in some of our later churches, is a favorable sign that a 
broader field is opening at last for the fitting utterance of the rising gen- 
ius of sculpture; while the numerous schools for instruction in this art 
that have been founded within the last decade, and the well-stored galler- 
ies of casts of the masterpieces of antiquity, are increasing the facilities 
for the growth of a home art. Enough has been said in this brief sketch 
to show that sculpture, if one of the latest of the arts to demand expression 
in the United States, has yet found a congenial soil in the New World. 



164 ART IN AMERICA. 



VI. 

PRESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART 

A T the close of the fourth chapter of this volume it was briefly stated 
-*-*- that new influences and forms of art expression have recently be- 
come prominent in our art, and are rapidly asserting their growing im- 
portance. With perhaps one or two exceptions, these new influences so 
gradually shade out of our former art that it is difficult to tell the exact 
moment when they assume an individuality of their own, and appear as 
new and distinct factors in the aesthetic culture of our people. 

It is only when we take a retrospect of the whole field, and compare 
one generation with another, that we discern the vanishing point of one 
set of influences and the genesis of new schools, with the introduction of 
new branches of art culture in the community. Considering the progress 
of American art from this point of view, we find it divided most decid- 
edly into periods, advancing with regular pace from one phase to another 
like the tints of a rainbow, shading off at the edges, but gradually becom- 
ing more intense. Thus we are able to trace in geometrical ratio the 
progress from primitive silhouettes and rude carvings up to the present 
comparatively advanced condition of the arts in this country. 

And yet a closer inspection into the history of American art enables 
us to detect in its growth the same rapid spasmodic action, when once a 
start is made in a certain direction, as in other traits of our national 
development. There is a tropical vivacity in the manner in which with 
us bloom and fruition suddenly burst forth after a period of apparently 
unpromising barrenness. Thus West and Copley appeared almost full- 
fledged in art genius and capacity to adapt themselves to occupy promi- 
nent positions in Europe, and yet there were but few premonitory signs 
to indicate that the country was prepared for the advent of such artists. 

Until recently, also, owing to some cause yet unsolved, w r e have not 




"THE MOWING." ALFRED FREDERICKS. 



PRESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART. 167 

seemed able to develop more than one or two forms of art at once. At 
one period it was historic painting and portraiture; then portraiture, in- 
cluding for a time very marked success in miniature painting, headed by 
Eraser and Malbone, and continued by such able artists as T. S. Cum- 
mings, J. II. Brown, Miss Goodrich, and Mrs. Hall; then, all at once, 
landscape-painting made its appearance, and almost at a bound reached a 
good degree of merit. Hand in hand with landscape art came remarka- 
ble facility in line engraving. How rapidly excellence in this art was 
achieved in this country may be judged from the fact that in 1788 the 
editor of the American Magazine said apologetically, in presenting an 
incredibly rude plate of a dredging-machine in the magazine, " The editor 
has given the plate of the new machine for clearing docks, etc., because 
he had promised it. The want of elegant plates in a work of this kind is 
extremely regretted, and will, if possible, be supplied. If it cannot, the 
editor flatters himself that the infancy of the arts in America will be ac- 
cepted as an apology for the defect." And yet not twenty } T ears from that 
time Peter Maverick was doing good steel-engraving in ISTew York; and 
scarce ten years later Durand was executing the masterly engravings of 
Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence" and Yanderlyn's "Ariadne." 
And from that time until recently engravers like James Smillie, senior, 
A. II. Tiitchie, and John Marshall have carried this art to a high degree 
of excellence; while John Sartain has attained celebrity in mezzotint. 

Strange as it may seem, while portraiture, landscape, and steel engrav- 
ing were pursued with such success by our artists, a feeling for the other 
arts could hardly be said to exist. A sympathy with form, generally the 
earliest art instinct to show itself, was long in awakening, as proved by the 
tardiness of the plastic arts to demand expression among us ; while to the 
resources of black and white, or camieu, or a perception of the matchless 
mystery and suggestiveness of chiaro-oscuro, the people have, until within 
a very short time, seemed altogether blind. Water-colors, also, were al- 
most hooted at; wood-engraving was for long in a pitiful condition : and 
as for architecture and the decorative arts, nothing worthy of the name. 
and scarcely a sign of a perception of their meaning, could be said to 
exist on this side of the Atlantic. 

Some years ago W. J. Linton, one of the most distinguished wood-en- 
gravers of the century, came to this country to live. Whether that had 
anything to do with the very rapid development of wood-engravino- here 



168 ART IN AMERICA. 

since that time cannot be stated with certainty; but, judging from analogy, 
we should say that he has exerted a marked influence in stimulating the 
remarkable progress already reached by our engravers within a very few 
years. A.V. S.Anthony was one of the first to respond to the awakening 
demand for good wood-engraving here, and has shown great delicacy and 
skill in interpreting the drawings of our very clever artists in black and 
white. Charles Marsh is also an engraver of remarkable character and 
originality of style. In the rendering of a decorative or highly ideal class 
of subjects he brings to his aid an artistic genius not surpassed by any 
engraver we have produced. Messrs. Morse, Davis,' Hoskin, Wolf, Annin, 
Juengling, Kingsley, Miiller, Cole, Smithwick and French, Kreul, Dana, 
Andrew, and King, among a number who have distinguished themselves 
in this art, are especially noteworthy, not only for correct rendering of 
the spirit of a drawing, but often for individuality of style. 

One of the most interesting phases of the development of wood -en- 
graving in this country has been the discussion as to its position among 
the arts, and the merits of the recent method of engraving drawings or 
paintings photographed directly on the wood. This discussion has been 
interesting and valuable as another evidence of the activity and impor- 
tance which the art question has already assumed in the community. 
That engraving is an art, one would think could never be disputed, if 
the question had not already been raised with a certain degree of acri- 
mony on the part — strange as it may seem — of those who are often de- 
pendent upon the genius of the engraver for the recognition of their abili- 
ties by the public — the artists themselves. It seems to us to be sufficient 
answer to those who consider it purely a mechanical pursuit, that the sim- 
ple fact that the higher the artistic perceptions of the engraver the better 
is the engraving he does, proves it to be a work of art. 

On the other hand, it appears that the engraver may in turn assume 
too much when he claims to improve upon an illustration, or objects per se 
to cutting photographs on wood. While granting to engraving the rank 
of art,' it cannot justly be forgotten that it is, after all, a means to an end, 
— an art, it is true, but an art subordinate to other arts which it is de- 
signed to interpret. Once this is allowed, it follows, as a matter of course, 
that it is the duty of the engraver to render faithfully the drawing or 
painting that is to be cut; and to magnify himself not at the expense of 
the artist who made the drawing, but by rendering, as nearly as possible, 



PRESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART. 



100 









By . 

S ; If \ ¥U 








a fac-simile of the original 
picture. If this be granted, 
then is it not clear that, in- 
stead of opposing, he should 
hail with satisfaction any new 
process which enables him to give 
on wood or any other material a 
closer copy of the style and spirit 
of the artist whom he is interpret- 
ing. That this can be done by a 
clever engraver by photographing 
a pen-and-ink drawing or painting 
directly on the wood, and then 
studying also the original work as 
lie cuts it, seems to be no longer 




C^: 



" BIRDS IN THE FOREST." — [MISS JESSIE CTRTIS.] 



170 ART IN AMERICA. 

an open question. It lias been demonstrated by too many excellent en- 
gravers within the last five years. 

Another advantage of what we cannot bnt consider an advance in this 
art is, that it admits of a larger variety of styles, and a freer expression of 
the designer's methods of thought and feeling, and also enables many who 
do not care to work in the cramped limits of a block of wood to make a 
large composition in black and white, whether with Indian-ink. or mono- 
chrome in oil, which is then photographed on the wood. In this way far 
greater freedom and individuality of handling is obtained, and a nobler 
utterance of the truths of nature. Can there be any question that a 
process which allows of such variety of expression must inure to art 
progress, and still more to the instruction of the people, who are directly 
benefited by the illustrations which are brought to their own doors, and 
placed in the hands of the young at the time when their tastes and charac- 
ters are forming, and their imagination is most plastic and impressionable? 

It would seem as if the art of wood -engraving had received in the 
most direct manner the action of some unseen hand, impelling it sudden- 
ly forward in this country by concerted action with the genius of illustra- 
tion ; for apparently by secret agreement that branch of ait has within 
the last decade developed a comparative excellence yet reached by none 
of the sister arts in the land. And this turn for illustration has natural- 
ly been accompanied by an active movement in black and white drawing, 
particularly in crayon. 

Samuel W. Iiowse was one of the first to give an impetus to crayon 
drawing by a style of portraiture especially his own. As such he ranks 
with our leading portrait-painters; while the fact that he employed crayon 
as a medium for a time gave him a position almost entirely alone in this 
country. There is a wonderful subtlety in his power of seizing character 
and the rendition of soul in the faces he portrays. Equally happy in all 
the subjects he treats, he will be longest remembered, perhaps, for the 
many beautiful children's portraits he has executed. The success of 
Rowse naturally led to similar attempts by other artists; and in all our 
leading cities one may now find crayon artists who are more or less suc- 
cessful in the department of portraiture, among whom may be mentioned 
B. C. Munzig and Frederick W. Wright. Out of this has grown a school 
of landscape -artists employing charcoal — a medium that Lalanue and 
Allonge had already used with magical results. John R. Key, who is well 



PRESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART. 



171 



known as a painter in oil, lias, however, done liis best work, as it seems 
to ns, in charcoal. There is great tenderness in his treatment of light and 
shade, together with harmonious composition. J.IIopkinson Smith, known 
as a water- colorist, also handles 
charcoal like a master. lie seizes 
his effects with the rapidity of im- 
provisation, treats them in masses, 
and shows a feeling for chiaro- 
oscuro that is almost unique in fPI^SIfJllll^ - 
our art. 

When we come to the book il- 




lustrators we encounter 
a number of artists of 
merit, and occasionally 
of genius, who are so 
numerous that we can select only here \ and there a few of the 
most prominent names. Felix O. C. Darley was one of the first to show 
the latent capacity of our art in this branch. His style soon became 



172 ART IN AMERICA. 

very mannered, but, at the same time, undoubtedly showed great origi- 
nality and invention in seizing striking characteristics of our civiliza- 
tion, and a refined fancy in representing both humor and pathos. His 
linear illustrations to "Rip Yan Winkle" and Judd's "Margaret" placed 
him, until recently, among our first two or three genre artists. Less ver- 
satile and inventive, Augustus Hoppin has, however, earned an honorable 
position among our earlier illustrators. Louis Stephens also won dis- 
tinction for an elegant rendering of humorous subjects. Then followed 
a group of landscape illustrators, among whom Harry Fenn holds a high 
position for poetically rendering the illimitable a'spects of nature and the 
picturesqueness of rustic or Old World scenery and ruins. Under the 
guidance of his facile pencil how many have been instructed in art, and 
learned of the varied loveliness of this beautiful world ! Thomas Moran 
ranks with Mr. Fenn as a master in this field. It appears to us that in 
this branch he displays more originality and imagination than in the elab- 
orate paintings by which he is best known. 

Within a very few years — so recently, in fact, that it is difficult to see 
where they came from — a school of genre illustrators have claimed recog- 
nition in our art, educated altogether in this country, and yet combining 
more art qualities in their works than we find in the same number of 
artists in any other department of American art. It is a little singular 
that, notwithstanding the recent interest in black and white in this coun- 
try, the genre artists who represent it should at once have reached an ex- 
cellence which commands admiration on both sides of the Atlantic, while 
our painters in the same department have rarely achieved more than a 
secondary rank. 

Alfred Fredericks has distinguished himself by combining landscape 
and figure in a most graceful, airy style ; and Miss Jessie Curtis, in the 
delineation of the simplicity and beauty of child life, has delightfully treat- 
ed one of the most winsome subjects which can attract the pencil of the 
poetic artist. Miss Humphreys, in the choice of a somewhat similar class 
of subjects, has yet developed individuality of method marked by breadth 
of effect and forcible treatment. Of the ladies who have found scope for 
their abilities in the field of illustration perhaps none have excelled Mrs. 
Mary Halleck Foote. We cannot always find her style of composition 
agreeable, and in invention or lightness of fancy she seems deficient, while 
her manner is strong rather than graceful. But she is a most careful stu- 



PRESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART. 



W. 



mm- 



dent of nature, and the effects 
she aims at, and sometimes 
reaches, are inspired by an al- 
most masculine nerve and pow- 




SOME ART CONNOISSEURS. [w. HAMILTON GIBSON.] " VV . aJ ^.'y^-^Wf^l^ J^%,'"- 

er, and show knowledge and reserve force. "^^Cl 

Some of her realistic landscapes are al- %^ 

most as true and intense in black and white as the daring realisms of 

Courbet in color, but showing fine technical facility rather than imagina- 



174 ART IN AMERICA. 

tion. Miss Annette Bishop, who died too early to win a general recogni- 
tion of her talents, was gifted with a most delicate poetic fancy, and singu- 
lar facility in giving expression to its dreams. 

F. S. Church is an artist of imagination, painting in oil and water-col- 
ors, but perhaps best known for striking and weird compositions in black 
and white, often treating of animal or bird life. He is an artist whose 
advent into our art we hail with pleasure, not because his style is wholly 
matured or always quite satisfactory, for it is neither, but because it is in- 
spired by a genuine art feeling, and yet more because it shows him to be 
—what so few of our artists have been — an idealist. What is art but a 
reaching out after the ideal, the most precious treasure given to man in 
this world? It includes faith, hope, and charity. To search after the 
ideal good, to live in an ideal world, to yearn after and try to create the 
harmony of the ideal, is the one boon left to man to give him a belief in 
immortality and a higher life. The more of an idealist the poet or the 
artist, the nearer he comes to fulfilling his mission. The idealist is the 
creator, the man of genius; and therefore we hail with joy the appearance 
of every idealist who enters our art ranks, and infuses vitality into the 
prose of technical art, and inspiration into the dogmas of the schools. The 
most hopeless feature of American art has ahvays been hitherto, as with 
our literature, the too evident absence of imagination ; and wherever we 
recognize an idealist, we set him down as another mile-stone to mark the 
progress in art. It is through the idealists that Heaven teaches truth to 
man ; and hence another reason why we regard with such importance 
the present school of artists in black and white. In no department is 
there more scope for the imagination than in the drawing of the pure line 
or in the suggestions of chiaro-oscuro. Therein lies the enormous power 
of the art of Rembrandt. He dealt with that seemingly simple but really 
inexhaustible medium, light and shade: in the hands of a master, potent 
as the wand of a magician to evolve worlds out of chaos. 

Barry, Bensell, Shepherd, Davis (who is also known as a decorative 
artist), T. A. Richards, Eytinge, Frost, Merrill, Ipsen, Shirlaw, Lathrop, 
Lewis, Perkins, and Davison are other artists who have justly acquired 
repute for success in the department of black and wmite, or book illus- 
tration. Kelley has a sketchj T style that is very effective, and of which 
the correct rendering on wood would have been well-nigh impossible with 
the old processes; but there is danger of carrying it to the verge of sen- 




" WASHINGTON OPENING THE BALL." [c. S. KEINHART.] 



PRESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART. 1 i i 

sationalism. Tlie facilities afforded by photographing a design on wood 
has seemed to be the occasion for aiding the development of a class of ar- 
tist-authors who both write and illustrate their own articles for the maga- 
zines. How remarkably well this can be done is proved by such clever 
artists as Howard Pyle and W. Gibson, who display at once fertility of 
imagination and technical facility as draughtsmen. C. S. Reinhart has 
become widely known as one of the most versatile illustrators we have 
produced. Excelling as a draughtsman, he brings to his aid an active fan- 
cy that enables him vividly to realize the scenes he undertakes to repre- 
sent ; and he seems equally at home in the portrayal of quaint old-time 
scenes, or the brilliant costumes and characters of the present day, com- 
bined with forcible delineations of scenery. The Puritan damsel or the 
belle of Newport may alike be congratulated when Mr. Reinhart ushers 
them before us with the grace of a master. The success of this school of 
artists, who have made their mark in the department of illustration, has 
doubtless been due in part to the increasing study of the figure in this 
country, and the greater facilities afforded for drawing from the life. Most 
of these artists are young men, whose abilities have been vastly assisted 
by their studies in life schools, which it would have been well-nigh im- 
possible for them to findju the earlier periods of our art. Although per- 
haps better noticed under the head of Ethics rather than of ^Esthetics, we 
may allude to the surprising growth and influence of caricature-drawing 
in this country, represented by such able artists as Nast, Bellew, Kepler, 
or Cusack, as associated with the development of our black and white art. 
An artist who seems to combine the qualities we see more or less 
represented by other artists in black and white, who has already accom- 
plished remarkable results, and gives promise of even greater successes, we 
find in E. A. Abbey. It must be taken into consideration that he is still 
very young; that he now for the first time visits the studios and galleries 
of Europe; that his advantages for a regular art education have been very 
moderate, and that he is practically self- educated. And then compare 
with these disadvantages the amount and the quality of the illustrations 
he has turned out, and we see represented in him genius of a high order, 
combining almost inexhaustible creativeness, clearness and vividness of 
conception, a versatile fancy, a poetic perception of beauty, a quaint, deli- 
cate humor, a wonderful grasp of whatever is weird and mysterious, and 
admirable chiaro-oscuro, drawing, and composition. When we note such 

12 



ITS 



ART IN AMERICA. 



a rare combination of qualities, we cease to be surprised at the cordial 
recognition awarded his genius by the best judges, both in London and 
Paris, even before he had left this country. 

If I have spoken strongly in favor of our school of illustrators, it is 
because I think such commendation has been -rightly earned, and to with- 
hold it when merited would be as unjust as to give censure when unde- 
served. Criticism need not necessarily be the essence of vitriol and gal], 
as some critics seem to imagine it to be. A jury is as much bound to 
approve the innocent as to condemn the guilty. 




MUSEUM OF FIXE ARTS, BOSTON. 

In another department of our arts we also feel called to award praise 
to a degree that has never before been possible in the history of American 
art. I refer to the department of architecture. It is difficult to say ex- 
actly when the new movement toward a fuller expression of beauty in our 
civic and domestic building began ; but we are conscious that about ten 
years ago what was for a time a mere vague feeling after more agreeable 
examples of architecture shaped itself into a definite and almost system- 
atic impulse. The Chicago fire, and more especially the great fire in Bos- 
ton, accelerated the action of the forces that already directed the people to 
demand nobler forms and types in the constructions that were henceforth 



PRESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART. 170 

to be erected in our growing cities. The advance of landscape-gardening, 
as evidenced in the Central Park of New York, and the public park.-, of 
other cities, doubtless aided to increase the yearning for material beauty. 
But whatever the influences at work, there is no question as to the results 
already apparent. I would not be understood as approving all the build- 
ings of importance that have recently been put up in this country — very 
far from it. But, on the other hand, one cannot avoid seeing that the 
general tendency is toward improved styles, and that here and there groups 
of buildings or single structures have been erected which are at once 
elegant, commodious, and artistic; and, if not strictly offering new orders 
of architecture, presenting at least graceful adaptations of old orders to 
new climatic and social conditions in a way that gives them the merit of 
originality. 

So prominent has this improvement in architecture already become in 
American cities, that already their external aspect or profile has begun to 
partake of the picturesque character hitherto supposed to belong only to 
the Old World, and to present that massing of effect so clear to the artistic 
eye. We can illustrate this by mentioning only two or three examples 
among many. One who looks toward Philadelphia from the railway sta- 
tion on the east side of the Schuylkill, may see a cluster of spires and 
domes centering around the Academy of Fine Arts, which is so agreea- 
bly composed that one would almost imagine the position of each to be 
the deliberate choice of a master in composition. Twenty years ago one 
would have looked in vain for any such harmonious outline of structural 
beauty in this country. The small, quaint fishing-port of Marblehead has 
also found itself suddenly transformed into one of the most pleasing cities 
of the Union, as viewed from the Neck across the harbor; for on the very 
crest of the hills upon which the place is built a town-hall has been erect- 
ed, of brick, neatly faced with stone, and surmounted by an elegant tower. 
At once the old town has emerged from the commonplace into the region 
of the picturesque. The new structure has given character and symmetri- 
cal outline to the city by producing convergence to a central point of ef- 
fect; and when the sun sets behind it, and brings its outline into bold but 
harmonious relief against a golden background, while a mist of glowing 
rays glazes the whole into tone, the view is in the highest degree artistic. 
and so resembles some of the scenes one so often sees in the Old World 
that he can hardly believe he is gazing at an American prospect. 



ISO ART IN AMERICA. 

We find a somewhat similar effect, but on a much larger scale, pre- 
sented by the new Capitol, or State-house, at Albany. This city, as beheld 
from the opposite banks of the Hudson at Greenbush, has always been one 
of the most pleasing of American cities, situated as it is on several lofty 
hills, divided by ravines in which purple shadows linger when night is 
approaching; but the addition of the vast structure now in course of com- 
pletion there adds greatly to the glory of the spectacle. It dominates over 
the city of eighty thousand inhabitants with superb dignity ; and the whole 
place borrows beauty from it, and is elevated above prose into poetry. 
Again one is reminded of the cathedral towns of Europe, where some 
lofty, venerable minster guards through the ages the roofs that cluster 
below. Not that this pile, which is rather hybrid in its style, is to be con- 
sidered equal to the masterpieces of old-time architecture; but it is a long- 
step in advance compared with the civic buildings formerly erected and 
admired in our cities, and its presence at the capital of a great State 
cannot but have an ennobling and educational influence upon rising- 
generations. 

The styles, whether pure or modified, that are most employed by our 
architects in this new movement have been chiefly the Romanesque, the 
Palladian Renaissance, the French Renaissance of Mansard and Perrault, 
and the later Elizabethan or Jacobean. The first two have entered chiefly 
into the construction of civic buildings : the second has been followed in 
religious edifices ; while the last has been nsed with excellent effect in do- 
mestic architecture. A fine example of the success achieved in the em- 
ployment of the Romanesque is seen in the new Trinity Church on the 
Back Bay lands, in Boston, designed by Gambrel and Richardson. . This 
is one of the most conscientious and meritorious buildings erected on this 
continent, although less imposing than it would have been if the origi- 
nal design had been fully carried out. There is, also, an affectation of 
strength in the massive blocks of undressed stone under the windows, in 
a part where such strength is disproportionate to that employed in other 
portions of the building. But the general effect is excellent, and the cov- 
ered approaches or cloisters are quite in the spirit of true architecture. 
Color enters judiciously into the selection of the stone used to aid the gen- 
eral effect; and the same observation may be applied to the very elegant 
tower of the new Old South Church, close at hand, designed by Peabody 
and Robinson, in the Italian Gothic style, and which for grace, beauty, 




"the astonished abbe." — [e. a. abbey.] 



PRESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART. 183 

and majesty has not been surpassed on this side of the Atlantic. The 
church edifice to which it is attached, although sufficiently ornate — per- 
haps too much so — is lacking in that repose of outline or just proportions 
that are required to bring it into harmony with the campanile. 

Other towers and churches are clustered in that neighborhood, erected 
within ten years, which present an effect that is really intrinsically beauti- 
ful, without taking at all into question the rapidity of the transformation 
which has come over the spirit of our architecture. And the effect is 
heightened, to a degree never before attained on this continent since the 
Mound-builders passed away, by the excellence of the domestic architect- 
ure which has entered into the construction of the dwellings of that vici- 
nage, especially on Boylston Street and the adjacent avenues. Beauty, 
taste, and comfort are there found combined to a degree that promises 
much for the future of architecture in our country. The gargoyles, ga- 
bles, cornices, and carvings one meets at every turn carry one quite back 
to the. Middle Ages. It is interesting to observe that the sham cornices 
formerly so common here are gradually being discarded, together with all 
the other trumpery decoration so much in vogue. Good honest work is 
shown in external decoration, together with a feeling for color that is 
adding much to the cheerfulness of our cities. Brick is made to do ser- 
vice for ornamentation as well as for mere dead walls, and string courses. 
or bands of colored tiles or terra-cotta carvings, all of an enduring charac- 
ter, enter into the external decorations of private dwellings. 

Not only is the love of beauty shown in domestic architecture, but it 
is found displayed in the construction of banks and stores; and it is again 
in Boston that we find whole streets of buildings of rich and elegant 
design, and conscientiously constructed, devoted wholly to business pur- 
poses. But a building which, perhaps, more than any other is typical of 
the architectural movement now passing over the country is the Museum 
of Fine Arts in Boston. It is not so much after any one style as a choice 
from different schools of later Gothic adapted to modern conditions. The 
terra-cotta groups in relievo in the facade, temper what would be other- 
wise too large an expanse of warm color, for it is built of red brick. The 
grouped arches, turrets, and oriel windows, and the numerous terra-cotta 
decorations at the angles and on the gables, are elegant, but perhaps so 
generally distributed as to be a little confusing. The effect is scattered, 
and thus weakened, instead of being massed at one or two central or sali- 



m 



ART IN AMERICA. 



ent points. This is the most glaring error we discover in the present im- 
portation or adaptation of foreign and ancient styles to onr needs here. It 
is an error which we share with the modern British architect, and was for- 
cibly illustrated in the new Houses of Parliament, by Sir Charles Barry. 




a child's portrait. — [b. c. porter.] 

No buildings of this century are so profusely ornate as some of the mag- 
nificent cathedrals and town-halls of the Middle Ages; but at the same 
time all this sumptuousness of decoration was massed upon one or two 
effective spots, surrounded by large spaces comparatively simple and free 
of embellishment. Thus grandeur and nobility of outline were preserved, 
while extraordinary beaut}' in color and sculpture could be added without 
disturbing the o-eneral effect or clovincr the imagination. But our archi- 



PRESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART. 



In- 



fects, not having yet fully grasped the ideas after which they are search- 
ing, scatter instead of concentrating the external decorations of their 
buildings. 

Interior decoration has also naturally assumed importance as the qual- 
ity of our architecture has advanced. Elaborate wood-carvings are enter- 
ing into the decorations of the houses of our citizens, and painting is 
called in to adorn the walls of private and civic buildings, sometimes with 
more affectation or extravagance than taste; although it can be conceded 
without hesitation that a remarkable and decided improvement is notice- 
able within a very few years in the decoration of interiors in this country. 
M. Brnmidi made a beginning, some twenty years ago, in the frescoes of 
the Capitol at Washington ; and quite recently Mr. Lafaige has beautified 




A BIT OF VENICE. [SAMUEL COLMAX.] 



the interior of Trinity Church, Boston, and other public buildings, with 
sacred designs in fresco, and other decorative work in gold and red. which 
are very interesting. Among the last, and probably the most important. 
works of the late William M. Hunt were the mural paintings in oil for the 



1S6 ART IN AMERICA. 

new State-house at Albany. Other artists who have shown promise in 
tills department are Francis Lathrop and Frank Hill Smith. 

It is not surprising to find that this advance in decorative art, together 
with the increasing luxury accompanying it, should create a demand and 
develop a talent for toreutic art, or art in metal-work, especially the pre- 
cious metals ; and such we find to be the case. The success achieved in 
this department is, perhaps, the most remarkable yet attained in American 
art, excepting possibly that of some of our artists in black and white, and 
has justly merited and obtained unqualified applause abroad as well as at 
home. It is to such designers as Messrs. Grosjean, Perring, Wilkinson, 
and Moore, assisted by the most skilled artisans of the age, that our to- 
reutic art is indebted for the recognition it received at the French Expo- 
sition. 

Another sign of the rapidly increasing activity of the interest taken in 
the art question in America is presented by the art museums or galleries 
which have almost simultaneously arisen in Boston, New Haven, New 
York, and Washington, founded at considerable expense, and entirely 
without State aid. With the former two are connected important schools 
for art instruction, combined with fine casts of the masterpieces of ancient 
plastic art. 

Another evidence of the awakening art feeling of a great nation is the 
demand for art education — a want which has been met by the establish- 
ment of numerous schools or academies of art in our leading cities all 
over the land, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It is time that in Phila- 
delphia, Boston, and New York academies were founded early in the 
century, and the last especially had become a very important factor in 
stimulating the latent love for art in our people. The Massachusetts Nor- 
mal Art School, under the able direction of Mr. Walter Smith, while de- 
voted chiefly to the advancement of industrial art, has also by its exam- 
ple greatly assisted the growth of the art feeling in the popular mind. 
While much may be urged with reason against compulsory instruction of 
art in the public schools, it would seem that few could be found to object 
to the education of art instructors, and the addition of an optional art 
branch to the State schools for the benefit of those who are desirous of art 
instruction, but are too poor to avail themselves of the advantages offered 
by such admirable art schools as those of the Cooper Institute and Artists' 
League in New York, the National Academy or the Museum of Fine Arts 



PRESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART. 



187 



in Boston, or the Academy in Philadelphia. It may, then, be conceded 
that the founding of the Massachusetts Normal Art School is not only a 
strong indication of a growing demand, but that it has also been a very 
powerful agent in the diffusion of art knowledge in the United States. 

Thus we see that by a cumulative effort the arts are making sudden 
and rapid progress in America. And there is still another movement 
which strikingly indicates this. Slow to be recognized, and meeting in 
some quarters with but cold welcome, it is yet by no means the least sig- 
nificant indication out of many that we are in the full tide of aesthetic 
progress, and have fairly entered on the third period of American art. 



— ™ 




" THE OLD ORCHARD.'' [r. SWAIN GIFFORD.J 

From the time of West it has been not uncommon for our painters to 
go to Europe for study and observation ; but they either had the mis- 
fortune to form their style after that of schools already conventional and 
on the wane, or they were not yet sufficiently advanced to accept the 
methods and principles of new masters and schools. A possible explana- 
tion, that is more philosophical, but which some may decline to accept. 
may be found in the general laws directing human progress, that obliged 
us, unconsciously, falteringly to tread one after the other the successive 
steps which others have followed before us. For the same reason, when 
an artist of unusual ability, like Stuart, appeared in the country, he had 
little or no following, because he came before his time. 



1SS 



ART IN AMERICA. 




A LANDSCAPE. — [GEORGE INNESS.] 



Eat it has been evident for some years that a new element was enter- 
ing our art ranks and demanding expression, which lias at last reached a 
degree of vigor and organized strength that challenges respectful attention, 
if not unqualified acceptance. By associations, schools, and exhibitions 
of its own, it has thrown down the gauntlet to conservatism and conven- 
tionalism, and the time has arrived when we can no longer shut our eyes 
to the fact that a new force is exerting itself with iconoclastic zeal to in- 
troduce a different order of things into American art. We cannot justly 
consider this movement in the light of reform, for up to this time our art 
has been very creditable, and, considering the environing circumstances, 
full as advanced proportionally as the other factors of American civiliza- 
tion. We regard it simply as another stage in our art progress, destined, 
when it has accomplished its end, to be in turn succeeded by yet higher 
steps in the scale of advance ; for, notwithstanding the somewhat de- 
monstrative assumptions of some of its promoters, the new movement 
does not comprehend within itself, more than any other school, all the 
qualities of great art. To no school of art has it yet been given to de- 
monstrate and include in itself all the possibilities of art, or to interpret 
all the truths of nature and man. Perhaps some future school may arise, 
with all the knowledge of the ages to choose from, which may compre- 



PRESENT TENDENCIES OP AMERICAN ART. 



L89 



heiid the whole sphere of art in its compass. But they are probably not 
yet born who shall see it, or give to it the symmetry of perfection. Until 
that time, it behooves those neophytes and disciples, who proclaim that 
their art includes all that art has to tell, to be modest in their claims, and 
to be satisfied if they have been aide by fasting and prayer to enrich the 





; / / , ' , •'. . 
■f ■''' I F/'l -''/'' ■'/■■/,- W'4 

Jlii, 1 '/'!'', li 

wlmim 'wpiffl ./in 

■I 

IPlll 

WsK m 



"LA MARGUERETTE THE DAISY." [ WILLIAM M. HUNT. J 

world of art with one or two new truths. Nowhere is humility more be- 
coming than in art; arrogance and assumption dig its grave sooner or 
later ; while humility is by no means incompatible with earnestness, zeal, 
and progress. 

The ripeness of our art for a change before the new movement actu- 
ally assumed definite shape had already been suggested and welcomed in 
advance by such artists as Eastman Johnson, Homer Martin, and Samuel 



190 ART IX AMERICA. 

Col man, the admirable painter in oil and water colors, strong in chiaro- 
oscuro, brilliant in color, and, although without academic training abroad, 
of a most excellent catholic spirit in all matters relating to art, ready to 
accept the good of whatever school, and to aid progress in the arts of his 
native land by whomsoever promoted. Benjamin C. Porter, whose mas- 
sive characterizations in portraiture, broadly treated and admirably color- 
ed, have been among the most important achievements in recent Ameri- 
can art, and Winslow Homer, A. IT. Wyant, and E. M. Bannister are also 
among the artists whose sympathies are naturally with the new movement, 
although receiving their art training chiefly in this country, and who have 
thus indicated and prepared the way for the assertion of new influences 
in our art. 

R. Swain Gifford should be added to the list of the noteworthy land- 
scape-painters who have thrown the weight of their influence in advance 
to welcome to our shores new elements of progress and change whereby to 
quicken American art to fresh conquests. This artist at one time devoted 
his efforts to marine-painting, in which he did and still does some credita- 
ble work, his knowledge of ships being sufficiently technical to satisfy the 
nautical eye; but since his sojourn in Algeria, and the observations made- 
in the Continental galleries and studios, he has devoted himself to land- 
scape, and adopted a bolder style and a truer scheme of color. The influ- 
ence of French art is perceptible in his later methods, but altogether as 
an influence, and in no sense as an imitation, for in his works there is 
always evident a sturdy self-assertion, whether in subject or treatment. 
In catching the gray effects of brooding skies receding in diminishing 
ranks through an aerial perspective of great distance and space, and giv- 
ing with fine feeling the Druid-like spirit of clumps of sombre russet- 
hued cedars moaning by the granite shore of old Massachusetts, and 
identifying himself with the mysterious thoughts they suggest, Mr. Gif- 
ford has no superior on this side of the Atlantic. As a professor in the 
Cooper Institute, his influence is of great importance to the future of 
American pictorial art. 

George Inness is another painter who, although without training in 
foreign studios, should be included with the artists just named, whose 
sympathies have gradually led him to exemplify in his works some of the 
most characteristic traits of later Continental methods. At first his style 
was not unlike the prevailing style of our middle school of landscape- 



PEESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART. 



191 



painting; like that, giving careful attention to the reproduction of details. 
But his emotional nature, and intense reflection upon the philosophical 
principles of art, gradually led him to a broader style and a more free ex- 
pression of the truths of nature, dealing with masses rather than with de- 
tails, and handling his subjects — especially atmospheric effects — with a 
daring and an insight that has never been surpassed in our landscape art. 
To these he has added a feeling for light and color that place him, at his 
best, among the masters of the art. But there is inequality in his works, 




MOONLIGHT. [JOHN J. ENNEKING.] 

and sometimes a conflict of styles, as when he dashes off a composition, 
in two or three sittings, that is full of fire and suggestion ; and then, per- 
haps with a relic of his first method still lingering in his memory like a 
habit, goes over it again, and smooths away some of those bold touches 
which, to an imaginative observer, gave it additional force. 

In his latest works Mr. Inness has shown a disposition to yield more 



192 



ART IN AMERICA. 



and more to a style at present called impressionist. Impressionism pure 
and simple, as represented by its most extravagant supporters, is like trying 
to represent the soul without the body. This may be well enough in an- 
other world ; but in this a material body is needed to give it support. But, 




" HAVING A GOOD TIME." [LOUIS C. TIFFANY.] 

philosophically considered", there is no question that impressionism — or the 
attempt to represent nature according to the impressions it makes upon 
the mind's eye, rather than the mere reflections left on the material eye — 
undoubtedly presents the quintessence of the spirit of art; and therefore 
all good art must have in it more or less evidence of subjective influence. 
But just so long as art finds expression with material means, the artist 
must make concessions to the limitations of substance. Naturally, of all 
the arts, music comes nearest to the ideal which the impressionist is seek- 
ing to grasp. 

It is useless to deny that, extravagant as some of the works of the con- 
temporary impressionists appear to many, they undoubtedly present a keen 
appreciation of aerial chromatic effects, and for this reason are worthy of 
careful attention. That they are not carried nearer to completion, how- 
ever, indicates a consciousness on the part of the artist that he is as yet 
unable to harmonize the objective and subjective, the material and the 
spiritual phases of art. A perfect work of art combines the two; but, 
alas ! such achievements are as yet rare, although that is the ideal which 
the artist should keep in view. The artist who gives us what is called a 



PRESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART. 



19.' 



finished painting is so far right. He represents what appears to the mate- 
rial eye. In proportion as lie combines with this a suggestion of the intel- 
lectual impression also made on his mental vision, he approaches the ideal 
in art execution. On the other hand, the artist who is impatient of details, 
and deals wholly with a broad, and sometimes, we regret to say, dauby and 
slovenly interpretation of nature, is yet so far right, because he is endeavor- 
ing to interpret the wholly imaginative and intellectual side of art. "When 
to this bias he adds the balance of power which enables him to give some- 
thing of the other phase of art, he in turn approaches the ideal aim of art. 
Turner was an impressionist; so was Corot; so, to go farther back, was Ve- 
lasquez; so, also, are the Japanese. But these artists, especially Turner 
and Velasquez, had the supreme faculty of uniting the two opposite poles 
in art in their best works, and hence the commanding position which they 
hold, and always will hold, in the art world. 




SOUTHAMPTON, LONG ISLAND. [c. H. MILLER.] 

So far as can be ascertained, it is to the late William M. Hunt that we 
must ascribe the initiation of the third period in our pictorial art, and per- 
haps, in a secondary manner, the general impulse toward foreign styles 
now modifying the arts of design in this country. AYhen Mr. Hunt went 
to Dlisseldorf to study, in 1846, he did no more than many of our artists 
had already done. But when, dissatisfied with the conventionalism of that 

13 



194 ART IN AMERICA. 

school, he turned his steps to Paris, and became a pupil of Couture, and 
was one of the first to discover, to admire, and to emulate the art methods 
of Millet, then, unconsciously, he became a power, destined by his some- 
what narrow but intense personality to influence the destinies of our art — 
especially by returning to Boston, a city easily brought under the magnet- 
ism of a strong individuality, and more ready than any other city in the 
land to surrender the guidance of its opinions to those whom it conde- 
scends to admire. 

The going of Mr. Hunt to Paris meant that technical knowledge and 
the perception of the underlying principles of art were now, as never 
before, to be systematically mastered and imported to America by our 
artists, together with the most advanced theories, truths, or discoveries in 
the technical part of the subject. It did not mean that all our artists 
who went abroad to study would necessarily be great, or that any of them 
would be especially original, but that there would be a general harmony 
of action toward improving the means of art education in America. Re- 
garded in this light, Mr. Hunt must be considered to have been a most ' 
important promoter of the development of art in America. He was prob- 
ably not a man of genius — unless great force of character be considered 
as such — but he had a true perception of the character and aims, the lim- 
itations and possibilities of art; and the intolerance he sometimes exhib- 
ited was not unusual in those who are introducing new methods, and have 
to create a circle of influence. In his own works, as a landscape, portrait, 
ge?ire, and decorative painter, it cannot be said that he added greatly to 
the sum of the world's art by anything strikingly original ; but he exhib- 
ited a true perception of the importance of the ideal in art; and one feels, 
in contemplating his works, that he was ever striving to overcome the diffi- 
culties of material means of expressing the ideal. Moved, like most lead- 
ing American painters, by a feeling for color rather than for form, yet, in 
such compositions as "The Bathers," representing a boy about to dive 
from the shoulders of another, who is half immersed in a pool, vanish- 
ing into the green gloom of the wooded banks, we have an admirable 
example of the manner in which this artist sometimes combined form, 
chiaro-oscuro, and color, with a delicacy, force, and suggestion of outline 
and tint, to a degree rarely equalled before by American art; with a 
technique essentially that of the later French school, yet modified by indi- 
vidual feelimr. 



PRESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART. 



195 



Bat the life-work of Mr. Hunt was, after all, not more in his paintings 

than in that influence by which he gathered about him a school of admir- 
ers and disciples who disseminated his opinions and imitated his style, 
although rarely with his success. Among those who directly profited by 
his style and influence may be mentioned Mrs. Darrah, who effectively 
paints gray coast scenes and landscapes in a low, minor key ; Miss Helen 




A STUDY. [FREDERICK DIELMAN.] 



M. Knowlton ; Miss Bartol; F.P.Vinton; and S. S. Tuckerman. the ma- 
rine painter. 

The power of Mr. Hunt was still more widely felt in directing a 
large number of .young art- students to visit Paris, and eventually also 
Munich, at each of which the tendency has been for some years toward 
bolder methods in the technics of art. The result has been to introduce to 
this country a truer perception of the vital importance of style in the pres- 
ent stage of our art, and to emphasize the truth that he who has anything 



196 ART IN AMERICA. 

to say will make it much more effective if lie knows how to give it ade- 
quate utterance. 

Of the many Boston artists who have profited by foreign study and 
are now resident in that city, we can mention but three or four. John J. 
Enneking, a graduate of the studios of Munich and Paris, can hardly be 
called an idealist. There is little evidence of imagination in his canvases ; 
but in seizing the effects of the brilliant lights of sunset, or the varied 
grays of a lowering sky on a cloudy day, he shows himself equally happy 
in color, chiaro-oscuro, and technical skill in handling pigments. His ver- 
satility is remarkable. He can render the figure from life with a vigor 
and freshness scarcely less than that of his landscapes. There is, unfortu- 
nately, an evidence of haste in too many of his works, which cannot be 
too much regretted, for he thus fails to do justice to the very decided abil- 
ity he possesses. Having studied both in Munich and Paris, and given 
careful attention to all the European schools of art, and adding to this 
knowledge sturdy independence of opinion and great earnestness and en- 
ergy, Mr. Enneking ought to be strongly influential in the present stage of 
American art. 

We find much that is interesting in the paintings of E. L. Weeks. 
They are marked by a powerful individuality, which delights in glowing 
effects of light, and revels in the brilliant coloring of tropical scenery or 
the varied splendor of Oriental architecture and costumes. There is some- 
thing Byronic in the fervor of this artist's enthusiasm for the East, and the 
easy adaptability that has enabled a son of New England to identify him- 
self with the life and scenery of lands so exactly the opposite of his own. 
Although a pupil of Bonnat, and an ardent admirer of the excessive real- 
ism now affected by some of the followers of the later French school, Mr. 
Weeks is, in spite of himself, an idealist, and no imitator of any style. 
This has, perhaps, been an injury to him, for lie finds difficulty in master- 
ing the technical or mechanical problems of, his profession. A lack of 
knowledge or feeling for form, a weakness in drawing which .is too often 
perceptible in his works, and sometimes an apparent opaqueness in his 
pigments, impair the quality of compositions which are inspired by the 
fire of genius. 

J. M. Stone, -who is one of the professors at the Museum of Fine.Arts, 
and a graduate of the Munich schools, indicates considerable force in ren- 
dering the figure, both in color and drawing, and a touch of genius in the 




" THE BURGOMASTER. " [h. MUHRMAN.] 



PRESENT TENDENCIES OE AMERICAN ART. 199 

painting of dogs and horses. His service in the army during the war 
intensified his interest in equine art, and will probably result in important 
compositions suggested by that conflict. C.R.Grant has a delicate poetic 
feeling for color and form, and a pleasant fancy tinged with qnaintness; 
and in his choice of treatment and subject suggests the works of G. II. 
Bough ton. In T. W. Dewing, a pupil of Lefevre, who has recently settled 
in Boston, we find much promise in figure-painting, but altogether after 
the clear-cut, well-drawn, but somewhat dry method of Gerome. 

J. Foxcroft Cole, who has been a careful student of the best phases 
of French landscape art, but has formed, at the same time, a sufficiently 
individual style of his own, is an artist whose works command a growing 
esteem. Although adding groups of cattle to his compositions, he is es- 
sentially a landscape-painter. We receive from a study of his works an 
impression of sameness, like that conveyed by the landscapes of Corot, 
chiefly because they are generally on one key, and refer to a class of 
subjects so quiet and undemonstrative that only he who observes them 
repeatedly and reflectively discovers that each work is the result of a dis- 
tinct inspiration, and possesses suggestions and qualities of its own. Ex- 
quisite feeling for space and atmosphere, for the peaceful effects of pas- 
toral life, and the more subtle aspects of nature, especially in color, are the 
characteristics of the style of Mr. Cole. 

In reviewing the Boston school, we note in its development much ac- 
tivity and earnestness, too often combined, however, with crudeness; while 
the foreign influence that is, on the whole, most evident in it is that of the 
contemporary French school. As Boston is intense rather than broad in 
its intellectual traits, and is inclined to follow the lead of its own first 
thinkers and artists, it is the more unfortunate that one influence should 
predominate, because in such a case the errors as well as the good quali- 
ties of a style are liable to receive too much attention ; while free growth 
depends on the catholic eclecticism which supplements the study of nature 
by culling the good from different schools, and correcting one by compar- 
ison with another, thus enabling the artist to arrive at a more just and 
profound view of a question that proceeds upon irreversible laws. The 
mind thus educated learns by balancing the merits of different schools, 
and the results are not so much imitation as assimilation, yielding healthy 
growth and development 

In New York there seems to be, with no less activity than that of 



200 



ART IN AMERICA. 



Boston, an art movement which is based on broader grounds, and offers 
more encouragement for the future of our art. The artists who are the 
most influential in tills advance are more equally divided between the 
French and the German schools than those of Boston, and indicate more 
breadth of sympathy and art culture, together with a cosmopolitan love 
for the good in the art of all schools, which is one of the most encouraging 




liffif 



mB 



i''t.""*'u; ■ ,".r . ; ' ;'■■ ' ivi/.:. ; .f,v i- 'ti ■*'■■■ '<" ' V ''' v ii Hiffa*. 

1 J ' ).! 






11 



'Still 



I, ■ 



n 



ym 






% 



'v. 



'■• 







"BURIAL OF THE DEAD BIRD." [j. ALDEN TVIER.] 

of sia-ns in a dawning intellectual reform. So decided had the tendency 
toward Munich become soon after 1870, that the colony of American art 
students in Munich soon grew sufficiently large to establish an art associa- 
tion, having stated days of meeting, at which contributed paintings were 
exhibited and discussed, and carefully prepared papers on art topics were 
read. Opinions were exchanged in this manly, earnest, sympathetic man- 




THE APPRENTICE." [ WILLIAM M. CHASE. J 



PKESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART. 203 

Tier, and breadth and catholicity were reached in the consideration of the 
great question in which all were so profoundly interested. Thus were 
gained many of the. influences which are destined to affect American art 
for ages to come. 

The writer regards as among the most, improving and delightful even- 
ings he has enjoyed those passed with some of these talented and enthu- 
siastic art students at the table where a number regularly met to dine — 
at the Max Emanuel cafe in Munich. Dinner over, huge flasjons of beer 
were placed before each one, and pipes were lit, whose wreaths of upward- 
curling smoke softened the gleam of the candles, and gave a poetic haze to 
the dim nooks of the hall that was highly congenial to the hour and the 
topics discussed. The leonine head of Duveneck, massively set on his broad 
shoulders, as from time to time behind a cloud of smoke he gave forth an 
opinion, lent much dignity to the scene ; while the grave, thoughtful feat- 
ures of Shirlaw, and the dreamy, contemplative face of Chase, occasionally 
lit by a flash of impetuous emotion, aided by an eloquent gesture, made 
the occasion one of great interest. Others there were around the board 
whose sallies of humor or weighty expressions of opinion made an indeli- 
ble impression. 

Among the resident artists of New York who have recently studied 
abroad, Louis C. Tiffany, a follower of the French school, holds a promi- 
nent position. He has done some very clever things in landscape and 
genre from subjects suggested by his trip to the East, and has succeeded 
equally in oil and water colors, and is now giving a preference to Ameri- 
can subjects, and also turning his attention to the pursuit of decorative 
art. He is essentially a colorist, to whom the radiant tints of the iris seem 
like harmoniously chorded strains of music. William Sartain, a pupil of 
Bonnat and Yvon, has also proved himself an excellent colorist, and shows 
vigor and truth of drawing both in figure and architectural perspective, as 
well as pleasing composition in work which he has done abroad. 

The new phase into which our landscape art is passing under foreign 
influence is well indicated by the paintings of Charles Miller, a graduate 
of the Munich school, who is inspired by a stirring, breezy love for nature, 
especially for her more intense and vivid effects, strong contrasts of light 
and shade, glowing sunsets, and masses of dun gray clouds rolling np in 
thunderous majesty and gloom over landscapes fading off into the infinite 
distance. As a draughtsman Mr. Miller is less interesting than in render- 



204 ART IN AMERICA. 

ing such effects as we have suggested with broad, free handling, in which 
he is often very successful. He is a poet moved by a powerful imagina- 
tion, idealizing what he sees, and possessed of a memory similar to that of 
Turner; and thus some of his most striking canvases are the result of a 
tenacious memory allied to a vigorous observation. Some of his canvases 
suggest the landscapes of Constable. 




" THE PROEESSOK." [THOMAS EAKINS.J 

Frederick Dielman,who has pursued his studies in Munich, is destined 
to make his mark in genre. In color and tone, and especially in draw- 
ing, he has already shown decided ability, and some of his compositions 
are very promising. Messrs. Weir and Muhrman, both young artists of 
much promise, and both figure- painters, represent the influence of two 
different schools. The former comes from an artistic family, his father 
being Robert W. Weir, one of our oldest painters. Young J. Alden Weir 
studied in Paris. In portraiture he has a remarkable faculty for seizing 




"THE GOOSE-HERD." [w ALTER SHIRLAW.] 



PKESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART. 207 

character, painting the eve with a truth and life wholly original. In genre 
he is sometimes quite successful, although inclined to mannerism. Mr. 
Muhrman is from Cincinnati, and has spent two years in Munich. While 
there, he placed himself under no master, but observed keenly, and de- 
voted himself wholly to water-colors. Avoiding the use of body color, 
he yet shows dash and originality in technique, and a fine eye for form 
and color. The realistic vigor of his work is quite exceptional among 
our water- color painters. The brilliance and purity of his colors, and 
the delicious abandon with which he handles the brush to such admirable 
result, seem to promise that he will become a master in this art. Frank 
Waller, Wyatt Eaton, W. A. Low, A. P. Ryder, J. H. Twachtman, J. C. 
Beckwith, A. F. Bunner, Miss Helena De Kay, and Miss M. B. Oakey are 
among the leading artists who are aiding the new art movement in Xew 
York. 

But among the later influences which have entered into our art and 
promise striking results, there is none more worthy of our consideration 
than the return of Messrs. Shirlaw and Chase from a thorough course of 
study in Germany. One of the points of most importance in this connec- 
tion is that whereas our art for the last thirty years has been in the direc- 
tion of landscape, its tendencies are now rather toward the painting of 
the figure, and this is strikingly illustrated by the circumstance that both 
of these artists have done their strongest work in this department, and 
their influence will undoubtedly give a fresh impulse to figure-painting. 
Mr. Shirlaw was for a year professor in the Students' League, but has now 
abandoned teaching in order that nothing may interfere with original 
work. Trained in the school which has produced such artists as Defreg- 
ger, Diez, Braith, and Brandt, he has mastered all the technical knowledge 
which Munich can give an artist in genre in our day. There is no un- 
certainty or weakness in his method of handling color; his lines are clear- 
ly and carefully drawn, and he undoubtedly achieves excellent results 
when he attempts simple compositions. One of Mr. Shirlaw's best known 
compositions, representing a sheep- shearing in Bavaria, has attracted fa- 
vorable attention at home and abroad. In compositions which include 
animals, dogs, and birds, he has been especially happy. His inclinations 
to delineate the characteristics of bird-life are akin to those of the artists 
of Japan. 

The o-enius of Mr. Chase is rather for single figures than elaborate 



20S 



ART IN AMERICA. 



compositions; and his independence of action is shown by the fact that, 
although he studied with Piloty, the master whom he made his model of 
excellence was Velasquez. A noble sense of color is perceptible in all his 
works, whether in the subtle elusive tints of flesh, or in the powerful 




" A SPANISH LADY." [jHSS MARY S. CASSATT.] 

rendering of a mass of scarlet, as in his notable painting of the " Court 
Jester." In the painting of a portrait he endeavors, sometimes very suc- 
cessfully, to seize character, although occasionally rather too impressionist 
in style. His art-life is fired by a lively enthusiasm, which must result in 
genuine and exalted art. "Waiting for the Ride" is a fine, thoughtful 
ideal figure of a lady by this artist. 

In Philadelphia the new movement has some powerful allies, among 
whom should be prominently mentioned Thomas Eakins, a pupil of Ge- 
rome, and at present professor in the Philadelphia Academy of Art. One 
of Mr. Eakins's most ambitious paintings represents a surgical operation 
before a class in anatomy. It is characterized by so many excellent ar- 
tistic qualities, that one regrets that the work as a whole fails to satisfy. 
Admirable draughtsman as this painter is, one is surprised that in the 



PRESENT TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN ART. 



209 



arrangement of the figures the perspective should have been so ineffective 
that the mother is altogether too small for the rest of the group, and the 
figure of the patient so indistinct that it is difficult to tell exactly the part 
of the body upon which the surgeon is performing the operation. The 
monochromatic tone of the composition is, perhaps, intentional, in order to 
concentrate the effect on the bloody thigh and the crimson finger of the 
operating professor. But as it is, the attention is at once and so entirely 
directed on that reeking hand as to convey the impression that such con- 




STUDY OF A BOY'S HEAD. [w. SARTAIX.] 

centration was the sole purpose of the painting. In similar paintings by 
Ribeira, Regnault, and other artists of the horrible, as vivid a result is 
obtained without sacrificing the light and color in the other parts of the 
picture ; and the effect, while no less intense, is, therefore, less staring and 

14 



210 ART IN AMERICA. 

loud. As to the propriety of introducing into our art a class of subjects 
hitherto confined to a few of the more brutal artists and races of the Old 
World, the question may well be left to the decision of the public. In 
color Mr. Eakins effects a low tone that is sometimes almost monochro- 
matic, but has very few equals in the country in drawing of the figure. 
Some of his portraits are strongly characteristic, and give remarkable 
promise. Miss Emily Sartain is devoting herself with good success to 
genre and portraiture ; and Miss Mary Cassatt merits more extended notice 
and earnest praise for the glory of color and the superb treatment and 
composition of some of her works. 

When we review the various forces now actively at work to hasten 
forward the progress of American art, we see that they are, with one or 
two exceptions, still immature; while, on the other hand, the sum of their 
influence is such as to prove that they are already sufficiently well estab- 
lished to give abundant promise of vitality, and of a career of success that 
seems destined to carry the arts to a degree of excellence never before 
seen in America. While the ideal is a more prominent feature of our art 
than formerly, the tide also sets strongly toward realism, together with a 
clearer practical knowledge of technique. And while we do not discover 
marked original power in the artists who represent the new movement, 
we find in them a self-reliance and a sturdiness of purpose which renders 
them potential in establishing the end they have in view. It is to their 
successors that we must look for the founding of a school that shall be at 
once native in origin, and powerful in the employment of the material to 
express the ideal. 



INDEX 



Abbey, E. A., 177. 

Academy of Fine Arts (of New York), 24. 

Akers, Benjamin Paul, 151. 

Alexander, Cosmo, 16, 24. 

Alexander, Francis, 49. 

Allston, Washington, 16, 2.9, 31, 44, 47. 

American Art Students' Association, Munich, 

200. 
Ames, Joseph, 49. 
Andrew, John, 168. 
Annin, P., 168. 
Anthony, A. V. S., 168. 
Architecture, 178. 
Art Education, 186. 
Artists' Funding Society, 88. 
Artists' League, 186. 
Athenaeum, Providence, 31. 
Augur, Hezekiah, 138. 

Bacon, Henry, 7. 
Baker, George A., 49. 
Ball, Thomas, 149, 150. 
Bannister, E. M., 106, 190. 
Barry, Charles A., 174. 
Bartholomew, Edward S., 152. 
Bartol, E. H., 195. 
Beard, James, 86. 
Beard, William H., 86. 
Beckwith, J. C, 207. 
Bellew, Frank H. T., 177. 
Bellows, A. F., 79. 
Bensell, E. B., 174. 
Benson, Eugene, 7. 
Berkeley, Bishop, 15, 17. 
Bierstadt, Albert, 97. 
Birch, Thomas, 37. 
Bishop, Annette, 174. 
Bispham, Henry C, 86. 



Blackburn, 16. 

Blashfield, Edwin H., 7. 

Blauvelt, C. E, 115. 

Boutelle, D. W. C, 106. 

Bowdoin College, paintings of, 47. 

Brackett, Walter M., 85. 

Bradford, William, 84, 

Bricher, A. T., 111. 

Bridgman, Frederick A., 7. 6— 

Bridges, Fidelia, 131. 

Bristol, John B., 76. 

Brown, George L., 64. 

Brown, Harry, 84. 

Brown, J. Appleton, 106. 

Brown, J. G., 115. 

Brown, J. H, 167. 

Brown, J. Ogden, 131. 

Browne, Henry K., 149. 

Brumidi, M., 185. 

Bunner, A. F., 207. 

Burling, Gilbert, 112. 

Burns, J., 115. 

Calverlt, Charles, 156. 

Casilear, John W., 73. 

Cassatt, Mary, 210. 

Catlin, George, 88. 

Champney, J. W., 113. 

Chapman, J. G., 88. 

Chase, William M., 203, 207. 

Church, Frederick E., 81. 

Church, F.S., 174. 

Cincinnati, Music Hall of, 163. 

Clevenger, Shobal Tail, 13S, 145. 

Close, A. P., 104. 

Cobb, Darius, 125. 

Cole, J., 168. 

Cole, J. Foxcroft, 199. 






212 



INDEX. 



Cole, Thomas, 47, 66. 

Conant, Cornelia W., 7. 

Colman, Samuel, 79, 112, 190. 

Copley, John Singleton, 16, 17, 88, 138, 164. 

Cooper Institute, 186. 

Cranch, Christopher P., 76. 

Crawford, Thomas, 138, 145, 149. 

Cropsey, Jasper F., 76. 

Cummings, T. S., 167. 

Curtis, Jessie, 172. 

Cusack, S., 177. 

Custer, E. L., 125. 

Dana, W. P. W., 7. 

Dana, William J., 168. 

Darley, Felix O.C., 171. 

Darrah, Mrs. S. T., 195. 

Davis, J. P., 168. 

Davis, T. R., 174. 

Davidson, Julian 0., 174. 

Deas, Charles, 88. 

Decorative Art, 186. 

De Haas, M. F. H., 109. 

De Kay, Helena, 207. 

Dengler, Frank, 161. 

Dewing, T. W., 199. 

Dexter, Henry, 156. 

Dielman, Frederick, 204. 

Dillon, Julia, 133. 

Dix, Charles Temple, 84. 

Dolph, J. H, 131. 

Doughty, Thomas, 47, 56, 59, 66. 

Drowne, Shem, 14, 37, 136. 

Dunlap, William, 18. 

Durand, Asher B., 47, 56, 59, 66, 167. 

Duveneck, F., 7, 203. 

Eakins, Thomas, 208. 
Eaton, Wyatt, 207. 
Edmonds, F. W., 52. 
Ehninger, John W., 115. 
Elliott, Charles Loring, 49, 50. 
Enneking, John J., 196. 
Eytinge, Sol, 174. 
Ezekiel, Moses J., 156. 

Falconer, John M., 112. 
Farrar, Henry, 113. 
Fassett, Mrs. C. A., 127. 
Feke, Robert, 16. 
Fenn, Harry, 172. 
Flagg, George B., 87. 



Foote, Mrs. Mary Halleck, 172. 
Fraser, John, 31, 56, 167. 
Frazee, John, 136, 138. 
Fredericks, Alfred, 172. 
Freeman, Mrs. J. E., 156. 
French, Daniel C, 161. 
Frost, Arthur B., 174. 
Frothingham, James, 27. 
Fuller, George, 117. 
Fuller, R. H., 76. 
Furness, William Henry, 125. 

Gardner, Elizabeth I., 7. 
Gaul, Gilbert, 113. 
Gerry, Samuel L., 74. 
Gibson, W., 177. 
Gifford, R. Swain, 112, 190. 
Gifford, Sanford R., 80. 
Goodrich, Sarah, 51, 167. 
Gould, Thomas R., 152, 151. 
Grant, C. R., 199. 
Greenough, Horatio, 138, 142. 
Greenough, Richard, 156. 
Grey, Henry Peters, 51. 
Grey, Mrs. Henry Peters, 125. 
Grosjean, Charles T., 186. 
Guy, S. J., 115. 

Hale, Susan, 113. 
Hall, Mrs., 167. 
Hall, George H., 133. 
Hamilton, James, 71, 84. 
Harding, Chester, 47, 49. 
Hart, James, 79, 130. 
Hart, William, 79. 
Hart, Joel T., 138, 145. 
Hartley, J. S., 161. 
Haseltine, H. J., 156. 
Hayes, William, 85. 
Heade, M. J., 133. 
Healy, G. P. A., 49. 
Henry, E. L., 115. 
Henshaw, Mrs., 133. 
Hicks, Thomas, 49, 86. 
Hill, Thomas, 97, 98. 
Hinckley, T. H., 85. 
Homer, Wiuslow, 117, 190. 
Hoppin, Augustus, 172. 
Hoskin, Robert, 168. 
Hosmer, Harriet, 152, 156. 
Howland, A. C, 115. 
Hubbard, R. W., 74. 



INDEX. 



213 



Humphrey, L. B., 172. 

Hunt, William M., 49, 185, 193. 

Huntington, Daniel, 49, 51, 88. 

Impressionism in Art, 192. 
Ingham, C. C, 49. 
Inman, Henry, 49, 51. 
Inness, George, 79, 190. "t~Lv 
Inness, George, Jun., 131. V * l? 
Ipsen, L. S., 174. 
Irving, J. B., 113. 
Ives, C. B., 156. 

Jarvis, John Wesley, 28, 49. 
Johnson, David, 76. 
Johnson, Eastman, 116, 189. 
Juengling, F., 168. 

Kelley, J. E., 174. 
Kensett, John F., 63, 76. 
Kepler, Joseph, 177. 
Key, John R., 170. 
King, F. S., 168. 
Kingsley, E., 168. 
Knowlton, Helen M., 195. 
Kreul, G., 168. 

Lafarge, John, 71, 94, 133, 185. 
Lambdin, George C, 133. 
Lansil, Walter F., 111. 
Lathrop, Francis, 96, 174, 186. 
Lay, Oliver I., 115. 
Le Clear, Thomas, 49. 
Leutze, Emmanuel, 73, 88. 
Lewis, Robert, 174. 
Linton, W. J., 167. 
Longfellow, Ernest, 106. 
Longworth, Nicholas, 140. 
Loop, Henry A., 125. 
Loop, Mrs. Henry A., 125. 
Low, Will H., 207. 

Macdonald, J. W. A., 156. 
M'Entee, Jervis, 103. 
Magrath, William, 117. 
Malbone, Edward G., 31, 32, 167. 
Marsh, Charles, 168. 
Marshall, John, 167. 
Martin, Homer, 106. 
Mather, Cotton, 14. 
Maverick, Peter, 167. 
Mayer, B. F., 113. 



Meade, Larkin J., 152, 153. 

Meeker, J. R., 74. 

Mignot, Louis R., 83. 

Miller, Charles, 203. 

Millet, Francis D., 7. 

Mills, Clark, 138, 149. 

Milmore, Martin, 154. 

Moore, E. C, 186. 

Moran, Edward, 103. 

Moran, Peter, 103, 130. 

Moran, Thomas, 97, 100, 172. 

Morse, Samuel F. B., 33, 39, 51. 

Morse, W. H., 168. 

Mount, William Sidney, 52, 86, 1 1 7. 

Muhrman, William H., 207. 

Miiller, R. A., 168. 

Munzig, B. C, 170. 

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 186. 

Naegle, John, 29. 

Nast, Thomas, 177. 

National Academy of Design, 37, 39, 49, 51, 58, 

186. 
Neal, David, 7. 
Newton, Gilbert Stuart, 27. 
Nicoll, J. C, 111. 

Normal Art School of Massachusetts, 186, 187. 
Norton, William E., 110. 

Oakey, Maria R., 207. 
0'Donovan,W. R., 161. 

Page, William, 49, 51, 90. 

Palmer, Erastus D., 140, 156, 161. 

Parsons, Charles, 112. 

Parton, Arthur, 80. 

Parton, Ernest, 7. 

Peale, Charles Wilson, 21. 

Peale, Rembrandt, 28. 

Pelham, 20. 

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 29. 

187. 
Perkins, Charles, 174. 
Perring, 186. 

Petersen, John E. G, 110. 
Pope, Alexander, 132. 
Porter, Benjamin C, 190. 
Powers, Hiram, 13S. 
Pratt, Matthew, 16, 137. 
Pyle, Howard, 177. 

Quartley, Arthur, 111. 



214 



INDEX. 



Eanxey, William S., 88. 

Kedwood Library, Newport, 15. 

Reinhart, B. F., 115. 

Reinhart, C. S., 1*77. 

Reynolds, Joshua, 19. 

Richards, T. Addison, 174. 

Richards, William T., 74. 

Rimmer, William, 163. 

Rinehart, William Henry, 152, 154. 

Ritchie, A. H., 167. 

Robbins, Ellen, 133. 

Robbins, Horace, 80. 

Roberts, Howard, 161. 

Robinson, Thomas, 130. 

Rogers, Frank, 131. 

Rogers, John, 159. 

Rogers, Randolph, 149, 152. 

Rothermel, Peter F., 88. 

Rowse, Samuel W., 170. 

Rush, William, 138. 

Ryder, A. P., 207. 

St. Gaudens, Augustus, 163. 
Sargent, Colonel Henry, 28. 
Sartain, Emily, 210. 
Sartain, John, 167. 
Sartain, William, 203. 
Satterlee, Walter, 115. 
Seavey, G. W., 133. 
Shapleigh, F. H., 76. 
Shirlaw, Walter, 174, 203, 207. 
Shurtleff, R. M., 131. 
Silva, Francis A., 111. 
Simmons, Franklin, 154. 
Smilie, George, 80. 
Smilie, James, 167. 
Smilie, James, Jun., 80, 113. 
Smith, Frank Hill, 186. 
Smith, J. Hopkinson, 171. 
Smith, Walter, 186. 
Smithwick and French, 168. 
Smybert, John, 15,22. 
Sonntag, W. L., 79. 
Staigg, Richard M., 49, 51. 
Stebbins, Emma, 156. 
Stephens, Louis, 172. 
Stephenson, Peter, 156. 
Stone, J. M., 196. 
Story, George H., 118. 
Story, William W., 152, 154. 



Stuart, Gilbert, 17, 20, 24, 39, 47, 49, 187. 
Sully, Thomas, 28, 49. 
Suydam, James A., 73. 



Tait, A. F., 132. 
Thompson, Launt, 152, 159. 
Thompson, Wordsworth, 128. 
Thorpe, T. B., 86. 
Tiffany, Louis C, 203. 
Trumbull, Colonel John, 17 

136. 
Tuckerman, S. S., 195. 
Twachtman, J. H., 207. 



21, 47, 88, 130, 



Vanderlyn, John, 17, 29, 44. 
Vandyck, Sir Anthony, 14. 
Yan Wart, Ames, 156. 
Vedder, Elihu, 71, 94. 
Volk, Leo W., 156. 

Waldo, Samuel, 49. 

Waller, Frank, 207. 

Ward, J. Q. A., 149, 151. 

Warner, Olin M., 161. 

Water-Color Society, 112. 

Waterman, Marcus, 113. 

Watson, John, 15. 

Way, A. J. H, 133. 

Weeks, E. L., 196. 

Weir, J. Alden, 204. 

Weir, John F., 114. 

Weir, Robert W., 47, 52. 

West, Benjamin, 17, 29, 138, 142, 164. 

Whistler, J. A. McN., 7. 

Whitney, Anne, 156. 

Whittredge, Worthington, 73, 86. 

Wight, Moses, 7. 

Wilkinson, George, 186. 

Willard, A.W., 114. 

Williams, F. D., 76. 

Williams, Virgil, 115. 

Wilmarth, Lemuel E., 115. 

Wolf, H, 168. 

Wood, T.W., 114. 

Woodville, Richard Caton, 86. 

Wright, Frederick W., 170. 

Wright, Patience, 37, 136. 

Wyant,A. H., 105, 190. 

Young, Harvey A., 125. 



TIMELY AND IMPORTANT BOOKS 



ON 



ANCIENT AND MODERN ART. 



American Art. 

By S. G-. W. Benjamin. Illustrated. 8vo, Cloth, $4 00. 

Contemporary Art in Europe, 

By S. G. W. Benjamin. Copiously Illustrated. Square 8vo, Cloth, Illuminated 
and Gilt, $3 50; Half Calf, $5 75. 

Art Education Applied to Industry. 

By George Ward Nichols. Illustrated. Square Svo, Cloth, Illuminated and 

. Gilt, $4 00. 

Art Decoration Applied to Furniture. 

By Harriet Prescott Spofford. Illustrated. Square Svo, Cloth, Illumi- 
nated and Gilt, $4 00 ; Half Calf, $6 25. 

Cyprus : its Ancient Cities, Tombs, and Temples. 

A Narrative of Researches and Excavations during- Ten Years' Residence in 
that Island. By General Louis Palma di Cesnola. With Portrait, Maps, 
and 400 Illustrations. Svo, Cloth, Extra, Gilt Tops and Uncut Edges, $7 50. 

Pottery and Porcelain 

Of All Times and Nations. With Tables of Factory and Artists' Marks, for 
the Use of Collectors. By William C. Prime, LL.D. Illustrated. Svo, Cloth, 
Uncut Edges and Gilt Tops, $7 00 ; Half Calf, $9 25. (In a Box.) 

Caricature and other Comic Art, 

In All Times and Many Lands. By James Parton. With 203 Illustrations. 
Svo, Cloth, Gilt Tops and Uncut Edges, $5 00 ; Half Calf, $7 25. 

The Ceramic Art : 

A Compendium of the History and Manufacture of Pottery and Porcelain. 
By Jennie J. Young. With 464 Illustrations. Svo, Cloth, $5 00. 

Modern Dwellings in Town and Country, 

Adapted to American Wants and Climate. In a Series of One Hundred Orig- 
inal Designs, comprising Cottages, Villas, and Mansions. With a Treatise on 
Furniture and Decoration. By H. Hudson Holly. Svo, Cloth, 84 00. 



Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York. 

Harper & Brothers will send any of the above works by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the 
United States, on receipt of the price. 






wx:m, * -^ & 



* mm ^^ mm "^ 



sp iiiiliiiisiir!" 1 - t 1 






V/ v 



.& % 



c 



M 



I'lf-V^ 



-n, 










<£« ^-^ v> — cC* 












-y \ ■ 



3> % 



*. ^ jSfek^ 



ftr w H^^ 



SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION Lll 



3 9088 00643 1191